World War Z The Movie and Book Review

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The movie, WORLD WAR Z, was an entertaining and breathtaking adaptation of the book WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks, but I use the word adaptation lightly, the only thing that the book and the movie had in common were 1. They both had zombies and 2. They were both called WORLD WAR Z and finally 3. Israel had a big wall. Other then that I didn’t recognize a single point in the movie that ran parallel to the book.

The book was one of those broad sweeping narratives that are synonymous with apocalyptic novels. It was set in a timeline that was a few years after the war against the zombies and included stories from a large amount of “eye witnesses” compiled by one narrator. The storyline covered the entire War, from the beginning appearance of the virus to the end of the War and the humans recovery. I was also kicking it with the Audiobook, which had the perks of being the movie-tie-in and having a ton of narrators. (There were a lot of accents from all over the world)

World War Z reviewThe movie on the other hand covered one man, Brad Pitt as UN employee Gerry Lane. The character was some kind of UN spy/investigator who was supposed to figure out how the zombie virus started. It showed the beginning of the virus, and then had Gerry Lane following clues in different countries to discover more about the virus to save the planet.

The book did not focus on any one character, the only congruent character was the narrator himself. It made for a very dry read, with the very little action (which you expect in a zombie novel) but it was done in an intelligent way that I thought was competent, but it wouldn’t be my number one choice as far as zombie books. I like a little more blood and guts in my zombie fiction.

World War Z

The token shot from the movie – the very FAST moving zombies attracted to the noise on the other side of the wall. Any zombie enthusiast knows, when faced with hordes of this size, fast moving on top of that, there is no way a population of humans can withstand it. With one bite these zombies were turning humans within a couple of minutes.

The movie did give the requisite blood and guts action scenes, but nothing like you would find in the more horrific “normal” zombie flicks. No one had their brains eaten. There were no bloated zombies at the bottom of wells or half-eaten bodies on display. There was a ton of carnage, plane crashes, helicopters with zombies falling off of the sleds…that sort of thing, but nothing comparable to THE WALKING DEAD. It was mainly a lot of aerial shots of zombie hordes inundating cities (mainly Jerusalem) and piles of zombies one on top of each other like in the movie poster above.

What it did have in common with other zombie movies though, was a plot that was full of bizarre twists that only made sense if you didn’t think about them too hard and a good mix plot holes.

1. The UN is going to save the world and has a bunch of US Navy ships and soldiers to do their dirty work.

2. It is hinted that North Korea might have started the whole plague, but nothing really comes of that.

3. Lane is basically the only guy on the ground trying to figure out this crisis.

4. It seems like the U.S. is decimated and zombies are overrunning the entirety of the planet – yet there are still commercial planes flying.

5. They crash land, everyone is dead, but Lane and his non-speaking Israeli female soldier counterpart are the only one that survive

Again, if you don’t think about it too hard, it was a good watch. I would recommend seeing it in the the theater for the added “wow” factor.

I don’t recommend having to read the book before hand, it would add nothing to the movie. Read the book if you want a good read that is about a crazy plague – not if you want any movie-tie-in. And did I mention I got the Movie tie in audiobook? What the hell was that? A few more hundred pages added to the book, but it still had nothing to do with the movie, or vice versa. All it had was the movie poster as the cover. I declare shenanigans on that particular tid bit. ESPECIALLY since (after I bought the book of course) I saw an interview by Mansfield Universities’ PR Director in which Max Brooks stated, he didn’t read the script. “What was the point,” were his words when he brought up the fact that the studio asked him to read it after the cameras were rolling. {source} Well, then what was the point of releasing a movie tie in that had nothing to do with the movie either, other than cashing in on the popularity of the movie??

Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie? Or both?

Rachel Rivera