World War Z

A very high concept action/thriller film that started off really strong and riveting, with a fantastically fascinating premise, that ended with a tonally juxtaposed (the much-discussed) third act that, though great on its own, did not really match up with the first two acts of the movie. But still an engaging, pseudo-intelligent, movie nonetheless. This movie will be a great study in screenplay and script-writing. And come on, if you can accept sparkly vampires, what are fast moving zombies? I loved that idea. The beginning of the movie was excellent! Within 5 minutes you are lunged into the action of the movie and you are just as confused as the main characters. Backstory comes in between without slowing down the action, and not more necessary is given. There were many great visuals throughout, and that zombies climbing on top of each other to scale a height: WOW! Unfortunately, the star of the show, Brad Pitt, does not really shine, and was rather underwhelming, in this movie. Yes, he carried off the cliche role of devoted-husband-forced-to-revert-back-to-his-old-job-which-he-was-supposedly-really-good-at-but-gave-up-to-be-a-better-husband/father-and-to-abandon-his-family-to-save-them, but he was just present throughout, and was not outstanding at all. Mainly, also because he has no real stakes, and the audience are not given anything to stand behind him, to root him on. His connection with his family was barely explored, and the family was placed in a position where we did not really have to worry about them, so there was no impulse for us to want him to get the answers ASAP! There were hints of possible familial jeopardy but they never played out. Mirielle Enos' character was surprisingly interesting, and Enos was a good choice as the atypical strong, independent wife, but sadly, her character was not more fully developed. Marc Forster was an interesting directorial choice, and he excelled at the more intimate scenes. The action sequences and large set pieces of the first two acts were directed well, but the closed up action scenes sees him borrowing too much from Bourne's Paul Greengrass with all the shakey, handheld cameras and rapid editing (3D with that must be quite bad). But then comes the much fabled third act. Oh man, where to start with that? It was quite apparent that the script was written by more than one person, and distinctively the final act was different from the first two in terms of tone, settings, language and even, whether subconsciously or not, directorial style. Drew Goddard's typical penmanship was obvious, with a sudden increase in wry comments, snide remarks, "sidekicks" banter, black humour, dry wit and visual snarks. Damon Lindelof's imprints were over the "sci-fi" bits and the pseudo-science logic that he seemed to be so fond of. After all those huge, amazing, adrenaline-pumping set pieces in the first two act, the much quieter third act was an utterly jarring experience, and unfortunately did not carry on the momentum to bring the audience to an expected orgasmic climax. Instead, what we had was a "that's it?" moment, that in itself if taken on its own as a separate movie (perhaps written by Goddard, Whedon, Wright or even Anderson) is great. Marco Beltrami, who was last heard scoring for "Warm Bodies", had a similar sound piano-based score here that was not as memorable but rather fitting to the mood. At the end of it, this was an interesting concept that did not know how best to end. Perhaps it would have been better as a mini-series or a planned trilogy (which is too big a risk for the producers). It made me curious enough to want to get the books to read.


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