Movie Defense Force: World War Z - Despite The Title, A Great Zombie Flick

Zorg Machine

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World War Z infuriates me because while both it and How to train your dragon "took an excellent book and dragged it through the mud", people look at me as if I'm crazy when I criticize HTTYD while shouting abuse at WWZ.

You can't forget that WWZ is a good movie in it's own right just as you can't forget that HTTYD completely bastardized an excellent novel.
 

Product Placement

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Although having little connection to the popular book asides sharing a name, World War Z is a pretty damn good film.
Not to undermine your point but I feel like this has, more or less, been said before. The biggest complaint that people had about this movie was how little to nothing it had to do with the book.

There's allot of interesting things to be said about the movie, like you rightfully point out. It felt like a natural evolution from the zombie sub genre (the so called "rage virus" version) that was coined by 28 days later but that's where it should have stood its ground. Probably its biggest strength (and arguably one of its weaknesses) was its main plot point[footnote]
[h4]The whole idea that the rage-zombies can sense and are attracted to healthy, uninfected individuals, while ignoring those sickly/infected helped address a huge point that bothered me, when I watched 28 days/weeks later. Since the virus was essentially a form of super-rabies, that made everyone hyper aggressive, why weren't the infected continuously tearing each other apart, in fits of madness, instead of only getting worked up when uninfected were around? Being an intolerant nit-picker, stuff like that would bother me. Therefore this particular reveal was not only a halfway decent plot twist, but also a nice way to address concerns made by deuces, like myself.

Of course, that only ended in me asking why Brad Pit was the only person to notice this and and why not a single terminal patient, across the whole wide world, failed to report that the zombies were leaving them along, several days into the epidemic.[/h4]
[/footnote]. The director compared the fluid movements of mindless worker ants to zombie mob movements, which was rather innovative. All of these things can be considered to be strong points for this film.

It's therefore rather ironic that none of those aforementioned points can be found in the book, while all the strengths of the novel can't be found in the film. Thus the whole idea of tying these two works together ends up doing nothing but disservice to the movie release. Imagine being a rapper who's advertised as Beethoven's successor. It doesn't matter how good you are, in your respective field. It doesn't matter if you're the best damn rapper out there. You're not Beethoven because your work is nothing like his. Fans of classical work will universally pan you for being nothing like what they know and love, while the rapping community won't feel particularly excited about some artist who's being compared to a songwriter, who's been dead for 200 years.

But enough of stupid analogies. Point being, the film should have stood on its own merits. If they wanted to make a movie that captured the book, they should have dressed it up like an alternative history mockumentary [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mockumentary]/docufiction [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docufiction] or however you like to coin the term.
 

hermes

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Ehh... no. The movie might be a semi-decent action flick, but it has less of a zombie movie than any Resident Evil.
 

Amaror

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The_State said:
LifeCharacter said:
Do the zombies (I Am Legend has vampires, btw) actually have superhuman speed and strength? I mean, people always seem pretty capable of outrunning them and overpowering them. The only real danger is that they always sprint towards their targets, don't care about pain or getting hurt, and generally come in groups. They might have good endurance to be sprinting all the time, but we never really see them run marathons, just chase after a human for short periods of time.
Actually, there are a couple instances of superhuman zombie strength in WWZ. In the Israel section you see a zombie push its arm through a metal-mesh grate and lift up a soldier in full kit with one arm. That's well more than two-hundred pounds; with a single bicep curl. And in the America section, zombies headbutt their way through car windshields.

And that's not all. The zombies will bend or even break the behavioural rules that the movie set down for them. Zombies are relentless and tactless hunters, but one will hide silently in an airplane refreshment cupboard, in an airplane FULL of living, breathing, edible people, until the time is just right for them the pop out Jack-in-the-box style to nom on a flight attendant. Zombies are attracted to noise, but not the noise that other zombies make; only edible humans are capable of knocking things over. I know there was another one that galled the hell out of me, but I cannot recall what it was.
Not really a behavioural rule of the zombies, but one plot hole that bugged me was that the military guys on the ship said that the zombies spread really fast through airplanes.
Which is bullshit, since there is not way that a plane stays in the air for multiple hours, lands savely and then lets everyone go their seperate ways when ALL THE PASSENGERS ARE RAGING MANIACS. We even see what happens in the movie when a single zombie get aboard a plane. The plane crashes and everybody that isn't a protagonist dies. Nothing spreads that way.
 

ShadowGandalf01

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I totally agree. I really enjoyed it. I've never read the book, but this is still coming from someone who doesn't really like the whole zombie sub-culture.
 
Aug 1, 2010
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No no no no no no no no no no fuck NOOOOOOOOOOO.

World War Z is a fucking atrocious movie even ignoring the book.

It fails on virtually every level. It tries to be a serious story, but it literally has a scene where an important character trips and shoots himself in the head. It tries to be scary, but then has a zombie slamming itself comically against a wall and then another zombie that does hilarious chattery chipmunk teeth. It tries to have action, but then decides to be PG-13 and shit up all of the potentially good scenes.

The CGI for the hordes was absolute garbage. It looked almost exactly like The Matrix Reloaded when all the Smiths are running in and piling around Neo.
As for that inventive scene of them climbing over the wall? I liked it better when it was giant bugs.

The movie can't even be called good on Brad Pitt's merits. I usually like him, but he was completely asleep for the duration of the film.
Add on to that a complete lack of character for every single person in the movie with the possible exception of the female soldier and it only looks worse. Even worse, the characters are morons. Between the previously mentioned suicide scene and the bit where they're sneaking around and one of the absolutely punts a soda can as loudly as possible, I had zero faith in their abilities.

Oh, and the product placement offered further hilarity towards the end when he flees from the zombie horde, then takes a break next to an entire Pepsi machine to get a drink.

Finally, the central idea of the plot was dubious and best and nonsense at worst. Somehow the zombies can sense when someone has a fatal illness, but only a fatal illness will do it. Furthermore, for some reason they actually care that the person has the illness and will not attack them in any way, even if the person is gunning down zombies left and right.

Now I'll admit, there were a few effective scenes. The bit in the apartment building was decent and parts of the scene in the rain on the runway were spooky, but other than a few paltry offerings, World War Z fails on every possible level. The action doesn't work, the characters don't work, the actors don't work, the drama doesn't work, the adventure doesn't work, the suspense doesn't work and the horror doesn't work.

Good try though. It's true that it doesn't deserve to be hated because of the book. No, it deserves to be shit on purely on its own merits.
 

Elijah Newton

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Sir Thomas Sean Connery said:
No no no no no no no no no no fuck NOOOOOOOOOOO.

World War Z is a fucking atrocious movie even ignoring the book.
Seconded.

I'm usually in Jim's corner and quite like Movie Defense Force but in this instance I respectfully disagree with every point Jim made. I didn't watch the movie when it came out because I knew I'd compare it to the book*. Figured giving it a year before watching was more than fair and tried to view it on its own merits. This wound up being the most mentally demeaning exercise I've undertaken since ever.

Terrified I had lost my taste for zombie movies in a hither-to manifested bout of maturity I queued up Rammbock, La Horde and the first couple episodes of The Walking Dead. I am relieved to report that there are _great_ zombie movies out there to be enjoyed AND don't make you feel like you've dropped IQ points when you're done.

WWZ, though, isn't one of these. No way, no how.


*incidentally, why the hell does every would-be defender of WWZ bring this up like making such a comparison is a veneal sin? It's not a generic title they stumbled upon by chance, they _were_ trying to make that book into this movie. AND THEY FAILED. Cite them for it, this is a legit gripe.
 

DTWolfwood

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This is one of those movies i'm glad i've never read the source material. I had no expectations other than what i saw in the trailers, which was really fast and scary Zombies. It brought back those wonderful memories of 28 days later. Which coincidentally the disease in this movie is almost an exact copy of lol.
 

Renegade-pizza

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If I may:
And:

It's filled with all the cliches of zombie movies and doesn't do ANYTHING to innovate. It sucks more than you do when you try to suck out all the cream from anything filled with cream
 

Jimothy Sterling

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btw guys...there is an audio book of World War Z...and its supposed to be really, really good...

check out the cast list...

seriously.

Cast

Max Brooks as The Interviewer
Steve Park as Kwang Jingshu
Frank Kamai as Nury Televadi
Nathan Fillion as Stanley MacDonald
Paul Sorvino as Fernando Oliveira
Ade M'Cormack as Jacob Nyathi
Carl Reiner as Jurgen Warmbrunn
Waleed Zuiater as Saladin Kader
Jay O. Sanders as Bob Archer
Dennis Boutsikaris as General Travis D'Ambrosia
Martin Scorsese as Breckinridge ?Breck? Scott
Simon Pegg as Grover Carlson
Denise Crosby as Mary Jo Miller
Bruce Boxleitner as Gavin Blaire
Ajay Naidu as Ajay Shah
Nicki Clyne as Sharon
Jeri Ryan as Maria Zhuganova
Henry Rollins as T. Sean Collins
Maz Jobrani as Ahmed Farahnakian
Mark Hamill as Todd Wainio
Eamonn Walker as Xolelwa Azania / Paul Redeker / David Allen Forbes
Jürgen Prochnow as Philip Adler
David Ogden Stiers as Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk
Michelle Kholos as Jesika Hendricks
Kal Penn as Sardar Khan
Alan Alda as Arthur Sinclair Junior
Rob Reiner as "The Whacko"
Dean Edwards as Joe Muhammad
Frank Darabont as Roy Elliot
Becky Ann Baker as Christina Eliopolis
Parminder Nagra as Barati Palshigar
Brian Tee as Hyungchoi / Michael Choi
Masi Oka as Kondo Tatsumi
Frank Kamai as Tomonaga Ijiro
John Turturro as Seryosha Garcia Alvarez
Ric Young as Admiral Xu Zhicai
Alfred Molina as Terry Knox
John McElroy as Ernesto Olguin
Common as Darnell Hackworth
F. Murray Abraham as Father Sergei Ryzhkov
Rene Auberjonois as Andre Renard
 

Westaway

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maxben said:
I take offense at this comment.
Meaningless
maxben said:
1. The book was already super pro Israel, which even as an Israeli I saw as odd and unlikely.
Correct, but hardly unlikely as Brooks is a Zionist.
maxben said:
2. Jerusalem makes a great set piece. It looks great, the narrow streets make this a lot of fun, and the city itself as a thematic importance that can't be beat.
It's not propaganda because it's set in Jerusalem.
maxben said:
3. How many Hollywood films actually feature Israeli propaganda. Your comment acts like that's a normal occurrence. It would be like saying that Transformers 4 is the most blatant pro Chinese government propaganda from Hollywood in the recent years. Fact is, there is almost NO (and none off the top of my head) pro-Chinese government propaganda coming out of Hollywood. In fact, the only other movie that I can think of that mentions Israeli actions was Munich, and that movie was hated by many Zionist organization and ended with the main character, the Mossad agent, having a mental breakdown because of all the horrible things he did. Not to mention that that was also based on a historical account (loosely of course).
There's certainly more Israeli propaganda than Chinese.
 

maxben

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Westaway said:
maxben said:
I take offense at this comment.
Meaningless
maxben said:
1. The book was already super pro Israel, which even as an Israeli I saw as odd and unlikely.
Correct, but hardly unlikely as Brooks is a Zionist.
maxben said:
2. Jerusalem makes a great set piece. It looks great, the narrow streets make this a lot of fun, and the city itself as a thematic importance that can't be beat.
It's not propaganda because it's set in Jerusalem.
maxben said:
3. How many Hollywood films actually feature Israeli propaganda. Your comment acts like that's a normal occurrence. It would be like saying that Transformers 4 is the most blatant pro Chinese government propaganda from Hollywood in the recent years. Fact is, there is almost NO (and none off the top of my head) pro-Chinese government propaganda coming out of Hollywood. In fact, the only other movie that I can think of that mentions Israeli actions was Munich, and that movie was hated by many Zionist organization and ended with the main character, the Mossad agent, having a mental breakdown because of all the horrible things he did. Not to mention that that was also based on a historical account (loosely of course).
There's certainly more Israeli propaganda than Chinese.
Wow, that's a rude response. First of all, when I say that I take offense it is stating what I feel. Its not an argument, it is merely giving reasons for why I felt the need to respond.

As for Brooks being a Zionist, is he? The only people saying that he is are anti-zionist groups, I haven't seen a quote from him. Anyhow, even if he was, I am a Zionist as well and even so I found his ideas in the book to be weird. Although it is interesting that he thinks that we would give the Palestinians the right of return, which is not a traditionally Zionist idea now is it?

Next, you don't bother explaining why you think its propoganda, but obviously if its set in Jerusalem its going to show the Israeli state doing good to fight zombies (and in this industry "doing good" is how some people talk about propaganda).

Lastly, I was making the point that no, pro-Israeli propaganda is extremely rare. That is why I was mentioning Munich as the only other movie to refer to Israel or Israeli issues off the top of my head, which you could debate certainly. And again, you choose to throw out a meaningless one sentence response as a way of devaluing me as if I am not worth your time or effort. That's not to say that I am, but if you don't want to have a discussion why respond in the first place?
 

Westaway

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maxben said:
Wow, that's a rude response. First of all, when I say that I take offense it is stating what I feel. Its not an argument, it is merely giving reasons for why I felt the need to respond.
I don't particularly care, Chief.
maxben said:
As for Brooks being a Zionist, is he? The only people saying that he is are anti-zionist groups, I haven't seen a quote from him. Anyhow, even if he was, I am a Zionist as well and even so I found his ideas in the book to be weird. Although it is interesting that he thinks that we would give the Palestinians the right of return, which is not a traditionally Zionist idea now is it?
I don't think it would be outrageous to assume a Jewish man writing a novel that portrays Israel in a flattering light would be a Zionist, but no, I have no "proof" he is.
maxben said:
Next, you don't bother explaining why you think its propoganda, but obviously if its set in Jerusalem its going to show the Israeli state doing good to fight zombies (and in this industry "doing good" is how some people talk about propaganda).
Israel is ultimately destroyed because they are too charitable to the Palestinians by letting them in.

maxben said:
Lastly, I was making the point that no, pro-Israeli propaganda is extremely rare. That is why I was mentioning Munich as the only other movie to refer to Israel or Israeli issues off the top of my head, which you could debate certainly.
Don't Mess with the Zohan immediately comes to mind
maxben said:
And again, you choose to throw out a meaningless one sentence response as a way of devaluing me as if I am not worth your time or effort. That's not to say that I am, but if you don't want to have a discussion why respond in the first place?
It's called being succinct. What I'm saying does not require large amounts of text. I don't feel the need to express my feelings either.
 

Nazmazh

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My takeaway from this movies was that zombies _might_ kill you during a zombie apocalypse. But, spending any length of time around Brad Pitt? That will definitely get you killed.
 

Ghadente

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I didn't think this was a bad movie at all. I never read the book, I assume it's better than the film (as is usually the case). WWZ isn't a favorite or anything, but i thought it was pretty good. Entertaining.
 

DerangedHobo

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Avaholic03 said:
I watched this movie (the unrated version on Netflix) last weekend, and I pretty much agree with you on all your points. The only real problem I have with this movie (and I had the same problem with 28 days later, I Am Legend, and other similar movies) is that I have a tough time suspending disbelief that a virus would actually give people super-human strength and speed. It's not that I'm some slow-zombie purist or anything, it just doesn't seem scientifically sound.
Zombies in the first place are pretty bat shit retarded but I have to say that 28 days later (not so much 28 weeks for a few points) was pretty believeable if nothing else. The bleeding aspect was from ebola being used with the virus and the rabid seeming "super strength" was easy to believe because SCIENCE and well, you ever heard about people on PCP? I don't think it's the virus giving them this super strength and super speed so much as the virus taking away their humanity and control.
 

Deacon Cole

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Zombie films are like gay porn for me, to be honest.

I'm not gay so I don't get anything out of watching gay porn. Hooray for those who do, I suppose. I am just not one of them.

I don't find the zombie apocalypse, or any apocalypse come to think of it, appealing in any way. No, I didn't like Mad Max, either. I don't have any fun thinking about the collapse of society. So I'll leave this to people who do.
 

Fayathon

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Avaholic03 said:
Don't think of it as a virus giving super human abilities then, are you are aware that humans in general are a hell of a lot stronger than we show, but it's due to innate mental blocks that we never really get to use the full extent of our strength. It's for our own good though, as our full strength can do massive damage to our bodies if we were just to use it all the time. I like to think that viruses like that remove the block and allow us to access it because they don't care if we fuck ourselves up, they just want to spread like wildfire.

OT: Been really wary of watching this film, but now my curiosity is piqued Jim, I think I might have to watch it now.
 

Rad Party God

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I just watched the Unrated version on Netflix a few minutes ago.

I FUCKING LOVE THIS FILM!

Seriously, I don't know why the heck did I avoided it until now, maybe the initial trailers scared me off of it, due to it's overuse of CGI and oh boy, do they use CGI, but it's done to such degree where it's actually kinda belivable and scary, I don't know, these zombies just creeped me out from the very beginning and watching a freaking river of those things flowing towards you, trying to get you... *shivers*

I absolutely hated 28 Weeks Later (I still love Days though) and this is absolutely a better film than that piece of crap.