World War Z (2013)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Fana Mokoena, Daniella Kertesz
It all started off as a normal day. Gerry (Pitt) and Karin (Enos) were going through their normal, daily routine, driving their little girls through town, when a massive traffic jam changed all that. In the blink of an eye, they discovered that their hometown had been infected with some type of freakish disease. Zombies began to attack. Zombies? Were they zombies? Or what exactly were they? There was no time to think, no time to formulate a plan of action. The young family had to run - and run fast - because these weren't your grandpa's type of bumbling, stumbling undead monsters. These things were speedy. And these things were deadly. It was time for the human survivors to band together to figure out what on earth had taken over their planet.
The Story: Unlike the run-of-the-mill, cut-and-paste zombie plots that are so prevalent these days, "World War Z" is a compelling movie throughout. Don't expect to be able to Facebook it up or text back and forth with your friends during this show. No, no. Put your technological devices away and pay attention because this movie is smart and it's believable. The story, based on Max Brook's pop culture phenomenon, will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Acting: Brad Pitt is stellar as the film's long-haired protagonist. The others are not half-bad, and the cast of extras delivers an amount of panic and frantic desperation that make "World War Z" feel incredibly (and surprisingly) realistic.
The Genre: Everybody should make movies about zombies. Because America loves zombies. "World War Z" was released at a perfect time, riding the exponentially-increasing popularity of the world's undead fanaticism. It's frightening, it's jumpy, it's creepy, and it's smart. But, perhaps best of all, it's nowhere near as gory and violent as AMC's blood bath more commonly known as "The Walking Dead." Make no mistake, this movie is far too frightening to watch with the kiddos for Family Home Evening, but at least you don't see a pick-ax going through somebody's head every three minutes - and that's a welcome relief for those who have grown tired of watching dismemberment on cable TV.
If you're not a zombie freak like the rest of America, but you still want a good pre-Halloween thrill, give this movie a shot. There's a good chance that "World War Z" will surprise you. Just make sure to enjoy your slowed heart rate and your deep, relaxing breaths while you can, because once you're five minutes into this movie, there is no looking back. It's non-stop action, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and post-apocalyptic paranoia from then on out - and it's actually pretty dang entertaining. The only thing keeping this review from the illustrious five-star rating is a slightly-unfulfilling ending that will leave viewers hoping for a sequel, but wishing for a little bit more resolution after an action-packed two hour thrill ride. You may also be interested in: "The Walking Dead" (2010 TV series for mature audiences), "Contagion" (2011), "I Am Legend" (2007), "Warm Bodies" (2013).
DVD bonus features:
- Audio in English, French, Spanish, English Descriptive Audio
- Subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
- No other bonus features available on rental version
Studio: Plan B Entertainment
Directed by: Marc Forster
Running time: 116 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for "intense frightening zombie sequences, violence, and disturbing images," including children in peril, some profanity (one moderately-offensive religious reference), and non-stop end-of-the-world drama.
Costars Peter Capaldi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Moritz Bleibtreu
DVD release date: September 17, 2013
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