phoenix64: lewis and hathaway, text: only because I care (inspector lewis only because I care)
[personal profile] phoenix64
First of all, the obvious: I am a huge fan of the book. HUGE. And while I'm a fan of horror literature in general, zombies are not my favorite. But it's an incredible book. I even gave a copy to my dad. The movie has only the most superficial relationship to the book, but at the same time the movie doesn't do anything that I would consider to be insulting to the book, so I'm mostly OK with that.

My being OK with it might be at least in part due to the fact that on it's own merits it's actually a pretty good movie. Good writing, good pacing, good performances. It's tempting sometimes to dismiss Brad Pitt as a prettyboy, but there's a scene in the movie where he is facing imminent death, and the sadness on his face is truly something to see. It goes beyond your typical actor's expression of manpain, bearing a much closer resemblance to an honest expression of grief. There are people who would say it's a performance wasted on a genre film, but I am not one of those people.

I do have to take a moment to express my frustration at what PG-13 has done to movies in terms of portrayals of violence. It's gotten to the point where pretty much anything is fair game as long as it's bloodless, quick, or off camera. I think it pretty much hit the high point in The Dark Knight - hi, you've just slammed a man's head on a pencil and given two men broken pool cues and told them to fight to the death - but World War Z shows how comfortable Hollywood is in carrying on in this vein. There's a scene where Brad Pitt knocks a zombie to the floor, and then he apparently slams a crowbar into the zombie's head, and a moment later struggles to pull the crowbar out to defend himself from a new attacker. But it's a really big "apparently", because you don't see anything that's happening below Pitt's torso. Seriously? A bloodless zombie apocalypse?

I don't point this out from a desire to see more gore in my movies. We worry about how much violence children are exposed to through media, but is it really better to give them realistic (as opposed to cartoon) yet bloodless violence? Violence without blood or screaming or any of the rest of it feels like violence without consequences, and that concerns me.

To give a little credit back to World War Z, there are a couple of instances where people are badly injured in ways other than zombie attacks that are somewhat realistic as far as portraying the pain suffered by the victims. But I think they might use more fake blood in your average episode of Rizzoli & Isles than they did in this entire movie.

Overall I'd say that if you like a good thriller that will make you jump in your seat a few times but is unlikely to give you nightmares*, I'd recommend World War Z.

*Please take this portion of advice with a grain of salt, as I'm fairly jaded and my barometer might be a bit off.


phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)

November 2014


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