There has always been something faintly ridiculous about zombies. Vampires are the same. Undead? What’s that? Payday for makeup artists?
From the innovative credits to the emotive ending, World War Z comes from another dimension. This is film making of the highest order. As thrillers go, you are unlikely to watch better this year.
Brad Pitt deserves much of the credit. He co-produced and plays the lead with a commitment and authority that may surprise you, although shouldn’t, because his acting skills have been superseded for so long by celebrity who-ha and the whole Brangelina thing.
Z’s plot hits hard from the opening – a traffic jam in downtown Phily – and never eases off.
Explanations are blown away by the speed of this global catastrophe. No-one knows why. No-one knows what to do.
“The president is dead. The VP is missing.”
News breaks like a storm.
“We’ve lost Boston.”
A viral strain of rabies? No one can say for sure why hordes of infected humans have changed into crazed beasts, famished for the kill.
Pitt plays a UN investigator who is thrown into the front line, leaving his wife and young daughters on a warship in the Atlantic.
As nations are overcome by what might have been a pandemic, but is more horrific and visible – these zombies are not goofy, drooling idiots, but raving wolverines – fear spreads like wildfire.
Somewhere, somehow, a vaccine must be found. Somewhere, somehow, there has to be an answer.
Pitt’s character is resourceful and courageous without being a superhero.
His connection with family is central to his motivation. Unlike modern disaster movies, CGI is used with discretion and, for once, 3-D helps.
Marc Forster’s direction has a surety and a confidence that silences nit pickers.
Words such as “absurd” and “fanciful” are as dead as yesterday.
“Mother Nature is a serial killer,” someone says, and it doesn’t sound cheesy at the time because the action smashes through the walls of scepticism and hijacks your logical mind.
Let the terror take you, but, remember, don’t stop breathing.