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World War Z

World War Z photo World_War_Z_poster.jpgI love zombies.  Ever since the classic Night of the Living Dead I have been mesmerized and in love with zombie films.  There are have been some great ones, and some very very…very bad ones.  In the past 20 years, my three favorite zombie films have been Zack Snyder’s vastly underrated Dawn of the Dead, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and now Marc Forster’s World War Z.

The entertainment value is high here, and Brad Pitt is doing his best “I am awesome Brad Pitt” personation.  He’s great.  He’s a lovable family man, he’s kind of a nerdy world peace guy, but also a bad ass kick your teeth in kind of guy as well.  The film begins right away with the zombie outbreak, no filler.  Pitt (Gerry Lane) has to save his family any way he can, while also trying to find the source of the outbreak.  He’s an ex United Nations employee who is called in to help…cuz he’s the only one he can! Alright!

The film has the best pacing of any film I’ve seen this year, with a number of location changes that keep it chugging along, always feeling fresh. There are definitely some unexpected twists along the way, but for the most part this is a straight ahead action/zombie film.

Director Marc Forster is one of those guys who always seems to make solid movies, but never great movies.  I think he’s made a great movie here, about as great a movie as you can with source material that has, for the most part, been beaten into the ground.

There are a few kind of unrealistic parts, but they’re not so unrealistic that you scoff or laugh at them.  In fact Forster does a good job of keeping the film grounded in reality as much as can be for a zombie film.  One of the many reasons why the film works. I think that’s why a lot of action films fail.  They underestimate the intelligence of their audience and that doesn’t happen here.

This summer has been rife with mediocre attempts to tantalize and thrill the audience, but World War Z is one of the only films that actually pulls it all off.

Grade: A