World War Z is much worse than the book (no connection really) but as a suspenseful thriller it’s quite entertaining. The book is a brilliant, global perspective on a zombie apocalypse, the breakdown of society and how it rebuilds itself – told from multiple perspectives. It would be an excellent TV series but probably too much for film. The movie is basically just Brad Pitt running away from zombies.
Firstly, do not watch it in 3D, at least not in Sri Lanka. Just watch it at Liberty Lite. While the titles make interesting use of 3D, the effect for the rest of the film just makes it dark and impossible to follow the zombies. Now onto the zombies.
World War Z uses fast zombies, unlike the book, making them an elemental force of nature more akin to a tsunami than anything else. These zombies use human bodies at the peak of their abilities, they sprint, push and smash with above average strength. They are basically unstoppable. They also infect new people within like 15 seconds, so once one zombie gets in they spread exponentially. Besides the scientific implausibility it makes for a weird plotting. Humans cannot really fight these creatures, the only real option is running. Throughout the movie very few zombies are actually killed.
The zombies are really used as more of a plot device to move a suspense story forward. That’s what this movie is, and if you view it like that it’s good fun. As social commentary or traditional zombie fare, however, it’s kinda useless. You never really get to look at a zombie and when you do they’re actually kinda silly. However, the opening scene where zombie terror sweeps New York and the action pieces are quite good. Basically people running, but impressive running. The Israel wall scene in particular is pretty epic.
In the original screenplay Brad Pitt goes off to find a zombie cure because he’s connected and apparently good at that. When he leaves Israel, however, he flies to Russia. There he’s forcibly conscripted into their zombie-fighting army and discovers that they’re susceptible to cold and blows to the head with a specialized shovel. In the meantime, his wife is sent to a refugee camp where she has to be a sexual mate to a soldier for protection. The movie ends with Brad Pitt finishing an epic battle in Moscow and then landing on the west coast of America to work his way across. I tell you this because it didn’t happen, though I think they shot a lot of it. It’s pretty dark but probably more realistic.
Instead, the final cut of the film has Pitt flying to a medical facility in England. It’s a far less realistic situation, but entertainment wise still satisfying.
In the end that’s all you can take World War Z. Unlike the book, it teaches you nothing about humanity is as or about surviving the zombie apocalypse that may come. If you want to know, the lesson there is basically get a fortified position with a lot of ammo and shoot the zombies in the head with rifles, constantly, with rotating ranks. Move your lines forward a kilometer at a time. There’s none of that in the movie. It’s just Brad Pitt running from stuff, which is entertaining enough.