Film: "World War Z"; Director: Marc Forster; Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Elyes Gabel, Peter Capaldi, Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove; Rating: **
"World War Z" is a subtle combination of a medical thriller and a horror film. Packed with fleetingly captivating emotional moments and mobs of panic-stricken people running from something we cannot see, the film evokes mixed reaction.
Inspired by, if not really based on Max Brooks' novel with the same name, the story is about zombie - Apocalypse.
Director Marc Froster wastes no time in introducing the conflict into the narration. After the initial two scenes of family bonding, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), a former UN investigator, along with his wife Karen (Mireille Enos) and two daughters (Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove), are caught in the mayhem on the streets of Philadelphia, where a section of the mob appears to have gone insane, randomly attacking others.
Suddenly, the city becomes a disaster zone, infested with zombies.
Thierry (Fana Mokoena), the under secretary of the UN, arranges to have the Lanes rescued, and taken to an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic. Here, Gerry is pressurised to return to the field to find an answer to the malaise.
For the safety of his family, Gerry agrees to lead the investigation. The task takes him from South Korea to Jerusalem and finally to meet with survivors at the World Health Organization building in Cardiff, Wales.
In the film, the story is narrated through Gerry's point of view, whereas in the book, the story is narrated through a nameless journalist's point of view. So, beyond the international settings and the concept of depicting how different world governments react in such a situation, the film doesn't bear much resemblance to Brooks' book and at the same time, shows us the magnitude of the epidemic.
The wide angle aerial shots and the set action pieces are beautifully and amazingly captured by cinematographer Robert Richardson. What's commendable is how the makers have beautifully merged film with the computer generated images of the rushing zombies that lead to the mountainous heap of them piled up. That breathtaking image will take some time to leave your mental space.
Though the film is overt and largely producer-actor Brad Pitt's canvas, he fails to create an impression which he critically desired. His soulful and non-triumphalist central performance was largely unconvincing as; a harried and agitated father or of a person who is thrown in such a momentous operation.
Despite the contributions of four writers, director Marc Frosters' endeavour fails to enamour you. The film has gaping plot-holes especially with the time-line of the story and the infestation. They do not sync.
And to top it all, the film that begins with a very promising and engaging premise plateaus on to the climax as the denouement seems to be mechanical and contrived, and that is its undoing.
Nevertheless, touted as the most expensive zombie film, this film is worth a one-time watch!