WORLD WAR Z: Mr. Jolie and his fabulous Redfordesque hair saves the world
So everybody knows about all the trouble that plagued this production right? I don’t feel the need to recap it so I’m going to skip all that noise and just jump right in. is WWZ any good? Well dear readers it’s like this…
…Its okay. WWZ is not the train wreck it should have been but it’s also not all that good. WWZ is about kilometer wide and about a half a millimeter deep. WWZ relies on the watcher being able to take their suspension of disbelief, cover it in concrete, put it on a rocket and send not just into the next galaxy but, through the use of quantum mechanics, into the adjacent reality next to ours.
Before I get into the story I am contractually obligated to mention that this movie has almost 0.0 percent in common with Max Brook’s fun book, WWZ. The only common factor is the title, the UN angle (an aside for the esteemed Colonel Tigh Fighter: I know you’re a lover of the the idea of the UN so you might want to skip reading this. I will be taking a long continuous wet dump on those scum bags throughout this post) and maybe two nods in it to the book.
WWZ starts out like most zombie movies with a peaceful morning of domestic bliss in what I guess is a suburb of north Philadelphia. Angelina Jolie’s bottom bitch Bradley (hereafter referred to as Mr. Jolie because I don’t want to be seen as rude and whose production company made this thin gruel) playing Jerry Lane and the fugly hot chick from US version of The Killing (Mireille Enos) who plays Mrs. Jerry (I can’t remember her name) are awakened by their precocious daughters. They have breakfast and Mr. Jolie is shown to be a good dad by cooking pancakes which I am sure his pimp Angelina makes him do at home. Meanwhile in the background, TV news makes reference to a worldwide outbreak of rabies and marshal law in between celebrity gossip. This is how the table is set for what’s to come.
The lovey dovey family is then off to downtown Philly for some reason I didn’t catch and are caught in a massive traffic jam caused by the fact that there are zombies running around and nobody thought to say “Hey news outlets, say something about not heading into downtown Philly because THERE ARE FUCKING ZOMBIES RUNNING AROUND YOU DICK HEADS.” They attack people, they get turned and in the chaos Mr. Jolie has the presence of mind to run with his head turned and count the seconds it takes for a bitten man to turn. Why is Jerry so cool under pressure you might conceivably ask at this juncture and being the nice chap I am I’ll tell you. You see Jerry use to be an “investigator” for the UN. So anyway what happens next is… wait What? Oh you’re asking for more info about Jerry’s past so you can know about why he’s so important? Sorry readers, I can’t give you any because I don’t know any. To call Jerry a thin wafer of a character is a deep insult to wafers everywhere. We get like two lines that say Jerry ‘investigated” outbreaks and war crimes for the UN and he’s cool under pressure and that’s it. What they should have said was that Jerry “investigated” how to cover up war crimes and profiteering committed BY the useless humps of the UN.
Mr. Jolie manages to get the fugly and the kids out of downtown Philly in what was a fairly well made set piece, by commandeering a RV that just happens to have a scoped Remington 700 rifle in it. LUCKY break there, it comes in handy later for defense and breaking open doors. This movie survives on coincidences, lucky breaks and being in the right place at the right time.
As they move out of downtown Jerry gets a call from his old boss at the UN (who, we learn much later when it’s convenient to move the story along, is the deputy under secretary of the Incompetent Thieves Guild, er, I mean the UN) that he needs him on this like pronto but Jerry being a consummate dumb ass declines. After seeing shit get real though, Jerry wises up and says hey maybe I’ll take that ride boss.
Now we get globe hopping Jerry because he and his faboo hair are the only ones that can figure shit out. First he lands is South Korea, this part is probably the best sequence in the movie, more on that down below. Then Israel, then in Jarv’s most favorite place on Earth, Wales. This last part is all the newly shot material, you know this because of the jarring change in the scope of the film. It spirals down from WORLD view to an insular personal tale inside the walls of the W.H.O labs. Of course Mr. Jolie figures out how to break the zombies in a rather clever way, humanity is sort of saved and the movie ends with a soft family thud and a cringe worthy voice over by Mr. Jolie. The end.
Here’s what was good about WWZ
The acting is fairly decent. Bradley imbues his wafer thin character with grace, humility and a righteous sense of duty and purpose. There are some great cameos like James Badge Dale as the RANGER Platoon Commander and David Morse as a locked up renegade CIA agent. The acting was good throughout the movie even though most of them zip by in what amounts to extended cameos. Only Bradley, his hair, hot fugly and the kids plus the chick Israeli Army officer named Segen are getting much screen time.
The downtown Philly set piece was decent, a lot of bloodless CGI carnage that was well shot except for too much shaky cam. The best part of this section was probably the sequence at the market. It showed how society was breaking down but still there were glimpses of humanity in it like when the armed junkie in the pharmacy gave Jerry the asthma meds for his daughter because Junkie’s daughter has asthma.
For my money the best set piece of the movie took place in Korea. After Bradley and his wonderful hair were blackmailed into going back to work, the Captain of the ship they were on bluntly told him do this or you and your family will get dumped back on dry land, Brad agrees to go with a young dopey Harvard epidemiologist to Korea in order follow up on a memo that used the word zombie. I liked that they used that term in the movie most times these flicks never do. Jerry’s idea on how to fight the Zekes (they use this term from the book) was a creative one and whoever thought of it did a good job.
Why the Korea section was the best part of WWZ in bullet point format:
- Showed seals to be useless. Like usual, they got their asses kicked hard and fast. RANGERS had to save their dumb asses AGAIN.
- The tension was high, the stakes big and important info was learned and connections started to be made there
- Both the saving of Jerry and his intrepid band of idiots and the plane refueling sequence were tight, taut and surprisingly well thought out and staged. Plus it was plausible which is unusual for a Hollywood movie
- The RANGERS were funny, knew they were fucked but they were going down fighting
- David Morse’s bent CIA character. Funny, interesting, smart and chilling with of course just the right piece of intel to move Jerry onto Israel
- Setting it all at night and in the dark made it more exciting
What wasn’t so good in WWZ:
The relentless pace and having zero knowledge about any of the characters made you not care much.
CGI zombie hordes es no bueno. How do the undead, that don’t breath because they’re dead, make vocal noises that sound like Velociraptors from Jurassic Park? Still on the zombies, how does the infection make a body hard to kill, have great leaping ability and able to move faster than they did when alive?
The Israel section. Here I am going into spoiler territory. So if you don’t want to be spoiled stop reading.
So the Israelis get a jump on everybody because they pick up on chatter coming out of India. They have maybe, and I stress maybe, a 2 week jump on the rest of the world due to the fact they now hold close to their hearts what they learned from the holocaust, don’t take your safety for granted. Up to this point I’m down with this section until I start looking at what they did. Somehow in like 2 weeks (which is only a guess on part since time in this movie is as elastic as it needs to be for the story to move along) they built massive walls without anybody knowing? Also Jews are pretty smart people, it’s a fact not a stereotype and if this is offensive to you feel free to fuck yourself, but somehow they didn’t figure out that noise attracts Zekes. Because of that ever so slight flaw in their wonderful security, they let a checkpoint microphone get used for a song that everybody takes up singing which in turn drives the Zekes into a frenzy and they overrun Tel Aviv. You know why the writers did that? Here I’ll tell you why. It’s because of the one world kumbaya/we love the UN horse shit that stinks up this movie like a corpse rotting in the sun. The writers couldn’t help themselves, they had to show Jews and Arabs getting along and singing a song. I think, from the 4 words of Hebrew I know, it’s about peace and working together or something.
Also writers, why did you feel the need to name the chick Israeli officer Segen? I looked it up because I thought it was pretty and maybe was something from the Torah but nooooooo, it means Platoon Leader in Hebrew. You know writers, reasonable human beings give their name not their title. Go fuck yourselves twats.
Speaking of the UN fuck holes (COL Tigh fighter you definitely want to skip this), FYI dumb fuck writers, I know you hate America even though it gave your no talents asses easy women’s work inside counting your money plus access to hookers and dumb hot wannabes that are way out of your fat ass league but you fucking dummies, the UN DOES NOT HAVE its own navy or armies. Well no scratch that, for some dumbass reason AMERICA helps out a fucking continuing criminal enterprise like the UN, that hates America, with its Navy, Air Force and ground forces and most importantly its money. If we didn’t have retarded ass fucks from NYC, LA, Seattle that love this horse shit UN nonsense continually buying elections so we get easily owned numb nuts elected to the House, Senate and Presidency, then the UN would have withered on the vine years ago. Fucking scum bag UN needs to go away.
Using Glasgow as a stand in for Philadelphia. First off, Glasgow is to wide open and too clean to be a Philly substitute. Philly is a densely packed crap hole where even the air oozes with a sickly oil. Secondly, they could have saved a ton of money by actually filming in Philly or any major city on the east Coast or even Hell A. You would save a ton of money because you wouldn’t have had to put makeup on the extras or dress them. Nor would you have had to ship over cars and signage and what not to make Glasgow look like Philly. Thirdly, the Philly attack sequence is what people that live in those hell holes call any day that ends in a Y.
The entire third act which was the re-shot part. It was technically proficient but the jarring change from a big widespread all-encompassing view to an intimate personal story that really became a haunted house type deal hurt the movie in my opinion. That awful plane sequence was just dumb.
How did the Zeke get on the plane? How did it know to get on the dumb waiter? How did it stay quiet and not attack the door like every other Zeke in the movie did with people behind doors? Why is it that if you close the curtain between first class and the plebeian section it almost completely cuts of sound? How come Jerry and Segen are the only ones to survive the crash? How come it crashed within walking distance of the WHO so two badly hurt people can amble over to it? Jerry’s amazing Wolverine healing factor. He gets like a foot long piece of aluminum through his side, conveniently missing everything and like 3 days later he’s right as rain? STUPID
There were some other things but I’m going to let it go. So to wrap this overly long incoherent mess up, I would say that WWZ is okayish entertainment that runs about 10 minutes too long. If you feel like going to movie, it’s not the worse choice out there I suppose. It’s so middle of the road that it doesn’t amount to much which is sad because there was a good movie trying hard to get out of the mediocrity that was put on the screen.