Summer blockbusters usually tend to be that one big name film that just takes over the summer. This year, we had J.J. Abrams' Star Trek: Into Darkness and Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. Surely, either of those should have been dubbed 2013's Big Summer Blockbuster. Little did anyone suspect that Marc Forster's adaptation of Max Brooks' book World War Z would take the cake.
This PG-13 movie is an onslaught of chaos, which keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The plot was really well done. Marc Forster did something that movies should start to follow, and that's being able to tell a story without an overwhelming amount of dialog. When you look at most zombie flicks, they tend to over-explain the origins of a virus or outbreak using all kinds of medical and scientific hoopla in a vain attempt to add a sense of some kind of realism.
Perhaps the best thing about this movie, other than it being a nonstop thrill ride, is how it answers the most daunting question to us zombie flick fans: how do zombies know whom to go after? That question is answered. Have you ever wondered how zombies know where people are located? That question is answered, too. Marc and his team have done a much better job of answering these types of questions while holding on to a sense of realism.
Now let's get into the visual effects breakdown, including the CGI and the production. The CGI (computer generated imaging) was above average. The zombies, in terms of how they're done, could be compared to the mutants from Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend. The only difference is that these creatures were not as bland as those in I Am Legend. The way the zombies attack and swarm is reminiscent of the bugs from Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, which is very unique to the zombie genre.
It's almost as if these zombies are on speed. They are faster than they've ever been portrayed. They tend not to be hungry for flesh, but more a virus looking to spread. Think back to when you saw Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later "running zombie" or the first time you saw George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead with more running zombies. These "Zeeks," as the zombies are called in the movie, make those previously mentioned zombies look like a walk in the park.
The stereoscopic 3D was a bit overwhelming at first, but like in most 3D movies, twenty minutes in you stop noticing. The 3D, while a tad bit intrusive, added to the suspense and to the claustrophobia of the movie. This really comes into effect with the positioning of certain shots throughout the film. The person who would normally be the focal point is off to the one side of the frame with a wide-open view of a long dark hallway. It's as if the directors want to you think a zombie is going to jump out at any point, thus adding an element of suspense.
Overall this movie gets three and three-quarters stars out of five. The acting was a bit stiff at times, but dynamic. The visual effects were above average, but nowhere near the level of Avatar. The scenery was great and the soundtrack added to the overall melody of the various scenes throughout the movie.
World War Z is a must see-movie that will make you jump and keep you on the edge of your seat. If you want to see a good thriller, be sure to check this one.