I HAVE RETURNED! After taking time off from finishing my Harry Potter Mega arc, I did some soul searching, and eventually found a monastery hidden deep in the Himalaya’s. There I was taught secret meditative techniques and quelled my critical mind. I returned a new man, a better man. One who could move on with his life and settle down.
Then I watched World War Z…
World War Z is the film adaptation of the book by Max Brooks. Well I say adaptation. The Powers That Be seem to have meddled with the story so much that it now bears very few similarities save for the title and zombies.
We’ll start with one of the more egregious flaws of the film. The lack of gore. Though the lack of blood and intestines is not a problem when dealing with the overall film, it is strange to see a zombie movie without it. Especially when there are plenty of action sequences that, in any other zombie work, would use more blood than Dracula on a Friday night bender. It is almost more disconcerting to watch a zombie get impaled on a tire iron and have the implement drawn back out clean. Part of the appeal of zombie movies is the catharsis of watching humanoid creatures getting attacked, whilst knowing that the hero isn’t committing a heinous act. Removing the blood creates an extra step between humans and zombies.
The plot of the book is told though a series of interviews in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. Each interview focussing on a different character and what they did, from the first person to encounter the zombie virus to the a soldier in the US Army trying to stop the outbreak to the eventual reclamation, years after the first cases of the outbreak were discovered, with the story switching genres with each perspective.
Moving on to the actual films story of discovering a cure, I don’t think that I’ve ever found a dumber solution to a plot than here. For those of you who don’t know, the main character eventually discovers that the zombies won’t attack someone who is already infected with a deadly disease. He (and members of the World Health Organisation) decide that the most effective thing to do would be to start injecting people with these diseases (which, as one member of the WHO Team is quick to point out, have NO cure!) to save the world. From zombies. By dying a slow, prolonged death. For those of you who are still having trouble understanding this view, consider it akin to burning your house down because you spilled half a cup of water. The spill may be dried up from the heat of the flames, but you’ve also burnt down your house for something that a few paper towels could have easily sorted. Instead of this story, the film should use the sleazy pharmaceutical CEO who is trying to market ‘cures’ to the world. The story (if told out in a flashback style as with the books) is an interesting insight into human nature, where he convinces himself that he was doing the right thing, and making money off of people’s fear is what everyone would do were they in a similar situation.
Finally, the last film would focus on the reclamation of countries and the aftermath. The film would follow similar lines as the first though with a much more positive theme underscoring the movie. The aftermath segment will e able to focus on the rebuilding of society, the tracking and studying of the zombies (the undersea segment would create a markedly different feel, and could almost play out like a documentary). The aftermath would also deal with the LaMOE’s (Last Men On Earth) and their beliefs that the rest of humanity has been wiped out.
Returning one final time to the proper film, the ending feels very tacked on. Placed in to fill out the run time and give a “hopeful” note combined with a call to arms for the populace. The ending of the film is obviously trying to remain ambiguous (a staple for the genre) yet comes across as though humanity will succeed. Though as of writing, a sequel has been brought back to the table after the film was well received*, so there may be hope yet that the films will take on the interview style of the book, now the initial threat has been countered. Or it could end up exactly like the first.
There you have it. What did you think of the film? Did it need improving? Or was it perfect in every way? Let us know in the comments.
*Insert manic laughter.