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Film Review – World War Z

Director: Marc Forster
Screenplay: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard
Cast: Brad Pitt, Fana Mokoena, Mireille Enos
Genre: Action Drama Horror
Rating :***
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4

What exactly is a zombie? Have you ever encountered one in your life, outside the realm of fiction or fantasy? Director Marc Forster succeeds in exploiting this cognitive lacuna, presenting us with a film, though based on phantom concepts like werewolves, aliens and transformers, still conveys a sense of being very real. Ever wondered what would happen if the world was to experience a zombie apocalypse  Well wonder no more. Brad Pitt gives us a glimpse of Mother Nature’s very own betrayal to mankind in World War Z. The story revolves around Pitt (Gerry Lane), a United Nations investigator who travels around the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is turning humans against one another. In the process, these zombies destroy populations as well as governments. Fast thrills are the order of the day as Pitt battles to save his wife Karin Lane (Mireille Enos) and their two daughters from turning into zombies. He goes from singlehandedly fighting them off to having to chop off a soldier’s hand to save his wife from turning into one. Talk about being put under pressure.
Pitt is so convincing in his role and the fact that the cure is not ‘just’ discovered but is found after a protracted search, adds an element of reality, unlike other apocalyptic movies where the cure for a disease is suddenly discovered. The film is more of a thriller than it is a horror film. It engages the viewer’s mind through out the unfolding of the complicated and intricate plot. You are taken on an adventure with Pitt as he tackles zombies and faces death in a series of mishaps in different countries. But to the viewer’s relief, after several shoot outs, stampedes and a plane crash, he emerges victorious.
Kudos to director Foster for keeping it simple by having only one hero. It makes the film easier to watch as some of the action is too fast and would have been confusing if there was more than one hero. However none of the other characters in the movie have any depth. As a result we didn’t care if they live or die. The only other character that seems important is that of South African actor Fana Mokoena who plays Thierry Umutoni. Mokoena is convincing in his role despite him not being in any of the action scenes.
This film is so good that even those that loathe zombie movies will love it. It offers good acting and  awesome graphics. Those zombies are really believable. Despite not being the usual man-eating zombies that leave blood spills all over, they make ones blood chill. World War Z didn’t feel like it was meant to have much comedy in it with its serious tone and gritty aesthetics, yet at times I found myself laughing at the way the film’s zombies expressed exaggerated twitchy movements, and the manner in which more than a few of them chattered their teeth repeatedly in a cartoonish manner despite being somewhat catatonic. Much as it does not end with a bang, it’s still one of the best zombie films ever made. The ending leaves you wanting more as Pitt goes into the zombie laboratory in the World Health Organization building where he has to get some disease samples. He then uses one of the samples to infect himself and becomes less appetizing to the zombies and voila! he saves the day. At the end he blasts us with a not so pleasant but pretentious speech about how it is not the end but just the beginning. Does this mean that we can expect a sequel to World War Z. I guess we just have to wait and see if it will be as good as this one.

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