With $100,000, George A. Romero managed to make Night of the living Dead (1968), one of the most outstanding examples of the zombie film. with $200 million, Marc Forster managed to make World War Z, an incongruous flipbook (in 3D!). It’s less a film than a constant barrage of images discharged at a pace so frenetic – the average shot length can’t be over two seconds – any attempt at following either narrative or action is completely futile. We know that a zombie apocalypse has somehow gone down without anyone realising and now the entire world is under siege by hordes of zombies with supernatural strength and agility (think 28 Days later on meth – an analogy that can be extended to the film as whole). However, exactly who any of the characters are or why they should fly to South Korea and then Israel before stumbling upon the key to humanity’s salvation in Wales are trifling particulars we are never burdened with. In its final act, the film mercifully switches mode, employing long, ominous takes and bloodcurdling silences to generate suspense in an unexpectedly excellent climax. Pity that by the time it comes most viewers will be too plagued by nausea or migraine to care.
World War Z | Directed By Marc Forster (USA 2013) Brad Pitt, Mireille Einos. Starts June 27.
Originally published in Issue #118 July/August 2013