Monday, September 23, 2013

World War Z review - Max Brooks, was it worth it?

Ok, folks, I finally saw this flick this past weekend. I resisted, oh how I resisted the temptations of this one at the theater. And it rested on a couple of things. 1. The book is AMAZING. Really, Max Brooks upped his genre chops to Harry Harrison and PK Dick levels (wanted to say Dick Levels for a while) with this tome. It gives every detail, from every corner of the world, on what it was like to be at ground zero for this ‘war’. Complex and loaded with details, but read like one’s favorite graphic novel. So, the question is: can this film, which appears to be an ensemble movie at best, be turned into a one man vanity project??? 2. J. Michael Stracynzski was brought on to do the adaptation honors. And he NAILED it and then some. And they threw out his script. And they brought Lindlelof in. And Damon “Swiss Cheese” Lindlelof is supposedly a script doctor. If he’s a doctor, he has more in common with Mengele than Oz. And I call him ‘Swiss Cheese’ because of the enormous plot holes he puts into each one of his projects. Not only Cheese, but can any of the new writers translate the smarts of the book from page to screen??? But, once it was on dvd, my curiosity got the best of me. Well, the answer to both of these questions above is pretty much NO. So many friggin’ holes and story lapses, it gives you a headache after a half an hour in. Sure, it has thrills. And the zombies are intriguing, even though they're not really zombies. More like infected berzerkers. If Romero didn’t like the Dawn remake, I’m sure he was having seizures over this film. But the zombies themselves are a small quibble. And what’s with Brad Pitt being a super hero in this? If you’re just watching and not too into labels, you figured he’s an ex-Green Beret doctor that learned to be a co-pilot in the air force and learned his limited Spanish at Taco Bell. And beyond luck to survive a goddamn grenade going off in a 767 cabin at close range. Yuh-huh. Yes, the bloody finger prints of ‘Vanity Project Movie Star’ are smeared all over this celluloid. And when Pitt and family seek refuge in a NJ apt building, they find shelter in an apartment with a Spanish family. Granted, from my understanding, a good number of zombies were following them up the stairs. Looks like Super Pitt took care of 3 or 4. So, if there were more, where'd they go? They searched the hall and said, "Damn, we lost that delicious family." and went back home? But, 12 hours later, they KNOW they were tricked into thinking the place was vacant? And the Spanish patriarch didn't want to get his family to a safer place than a project apt??? What’s with smart situations being dumb situations fast?? Israel, who were smart and prescient to know to build a wall for this plague aren’t smart enough to figure out that sound draws them??? And why do they knock us over the head that the ‘cure’ for the plague is to take on lethal viruses, declaring that a character is dead one minute, then getting a vaccine and flirty smile the next? I can tolerate lapses in story continuity and logic. But have it be so consistent, plot and good writing should not be overruled by FX and spectacle. I'm sorry, Michael Bay, that's not the way to do things. Ahem ... I mean Marc Forster. Just like his Bond, STILL the WRONG man for the job.

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