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Film Review: ‘World War Z’ Reminder of 1950s Apocalyptic Films

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CHICAGO – Earnest family man, check. Somber, ineffective bureaucrats, check. Monsters in nature created through mankind’s hubris, check. Unintentional laughs, check and checkmate. That describes every plot of a 1950s end-of-the-world movie treatment, and the latest Brad Pitt film, “World War Z.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

There should be a correction…this is a 1950s apocalyptic movie if the budget was $125 million, and directed by fancy pants Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball”). “World War Z” is about the attack of the zombies, but it’s fairly vague why they happen to attack. These brand of zombies are fast and over-relentless, unless you are very, very quiet – then they become the docile moaners that we know and love. This is based on the novel by Max Brooks, and I’m sure the film leaves some of the detail out. This story plops us right into the middle of the action, and it’s summer-movie intense. Brad Pitt, in essence, is playing the same character as in “Moneyball” – a save-the-day professional who is also a gooey eyed family man. Is this his new character fate? “World War Z” is a decent “PG-13” night at the movies, perfect for a group scare and a couple of follow-up nervous laughs.

Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is a retired stay-at-home Dad, whose former job was to go into war zone hotspots for the United Nations. While stuck in a traffic jam in his native Philadelphia, a contingent of creatures begin to attack the city. It is a zombie invasion, and they’re looking for recruits (via their vicious bite, naturally). This is happening all over the United States and the world, mostly in big cities, and Gerry is helicoptered from Philly with his wife Karen (Mirelle Enos) and kids onto a remote aircraft carrier, by orders of the U.N. General Secretary Thierry(Fana Mokoena).

Gerry was the best of the best, and his U.N. assignment – in exchange for keeping his family safe – is to seek a cure for the zombie virus, and there are rumors that the source area for the outbreak in South Korea may hold the key. When Gerry’s team is ambushed by zombies there, it leads to a manic escape to overrun Israel, and eventually to a research lab in Wales. It’s going to take a little ingenuity to stop the amassing undead attackers.

“World War Z” opens everywhere on June 21st in 3D and regular screenings. See local listings for 3D theaters and show times. Featuring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, David Morse, Fana Mokoena and James Badge Dale. Screenplay adapted by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof. Directed by Marc Forster. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “World War Z”

Brad Pitt
We Gotta Get Outta This Place: Brad Pitt and Family in ‘World War Z’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “World War Z”

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