Saturday, 22 June 2013


Assuming the role of Gerry Lane, a former UN delegate drafted back into his old job in order to help fight the zombie apocalypse (of all things), I was surprised to read of Brad Pitt's concerns regarding World War Z's third act. This portion of the dramatic thriller was deemed such a mess that it was entirely rewritten and reshot, but to learn that Pitt, a prominent liberal voice in Hollywood and the partner of one of the world's most famous UN ambassadors, considered it 'too political' was a shock. It seems the film that once was World War Z wanted to teach its audience something. The only thing this film taught me was that, if zombies ever do threaten to wipe out humanity, I'm with Brad. The original finale, involving a battle in Moscow, is a significantly more satisfactory close to this film's narrative than the sloppy seconds we've been served here, yet I can't imagine it working half as well. It may be the first ever scene in an action film to take place on the edge of a sleepy Welsh village; indeed, World War Z is rather like an action film in reverse. Its opening scenes converge into a breathtaking barrage of chilling apocalyptic terror and thrills, and the film gradually unwinds from there, one striking Jerusalem-set sequence aside. But the grippingly tense final third is the strongest part of the whole movie. A lot of plot battles for our attention with a lot of requisite zombie action, and Marc Forster and editors Roger Barton and Matt Chesse (a most underrated editor) skillfully intertwine these disparate elements into a unique and engrossing, mature Summer blockbuster. A makeshift montage is a pretty lousy ending, while some of the most interesting plot strands are casually abandoned mid-way, but such is the strength of each individual moment in World War Z that it barely matters, so glued will you be to this unusual, compelling film. 3D is non-intrusive to the point that it adds almost nothing to the film, which is unsurprising, given as it was only shafted in to drive up grosses, with the troubled shoot's elephantine costs.