News Column

What's the scoop on 'World War Z' movie?

June 24, 2013

YellowBrix

June 24--I attended the Shelby Carmike's 8 p.m. Thursday premiere of "World War Z", a zombie action flick based, very loosely, on Max Brooks' novel of the same title. After watching for myself, here are five things I noticed about the movie that will help you decide when, and if, you want to see it. Spoilers are sprinkled throughout, so read at your own risk.

1.) It's a zombie movie with substance.

And by that I don't mean blood and gore. It is possibly one of the least gruesome zombie movies I have ever seen. What I do mean is story substance. It's all about the hero's journey to find a solution to the virus and get back safely to his family. The most important things aren't action and zombie attacks, but family and working together to survive.

2.) Super-humanly fast zombies.

They move in packs like animals, and when prey isn't around, they go dormant. That's the only time they move slowly, but they can be awakened very easily by sound. If you're a fan of zombies that are slow and shuffling, you might be a little frightened of this kind. Then again, you might be excited to see something different for the genre.

3.) Instantaneous reanimation.

Most zombie films and shows adhere to a slower human-to-zombie transformation. On "The Walking Dead" for instance, it can take a dead person anywhere from three minutes to eight hours to reanimate as a zombie. But "World War Z" zombies are no joke. They reanimate in a matter of seconds. Again, you'll either be frightened or excited by this unexpected switch-up.

4.) Brad Pitt doesn't die.

For those of you who will watch the film simply because Pitt is on screen, you can take comfort that he gets a huge amount of screen time and does not die in the movie. Take that how you will though, since if he died and became a zombie, that would still be technically true.

5.) Zombies make awesome metaphors.

If you hate zombies, horror movies, or just think the whole genre is a little bit silly, here's why you should still be interested. Zombies aren't just a way for us to make action movies where things blow up and people run in terror from the "undead." Zombies serve as metaphors for many aspects of human nature. From the BBC series "In the Flesh" to the incredibly famous "Walking Dead" series, zombies can represent the monsters inside us, or how easy it is for us to cease to become human.

They can also represent discriminated populations. "In the Flesh" shows rehabilitated zombies being treated much like mental patients have been in the past, discriminated against, and segregated from the populace. Zombies, too, show us something about our culture. We like seeing zombie movies where people conquer insurmountable odds, unbeatable enemies and literally death itself, because they make us think we can conquer anything. If we are completely prepared for something as crazy as a zombie apocalypse, no real-life disaster can touch us.

My score: 4/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes score: 67 percent fresh

What moviegoers said:

"I thought it was pretty good. I think it's possible with all the experiments that scientists do."

-Kaylee Truett

"It was a really great movie. If it would have happened, I would love to kill a bunch of zombies."

-Taylor Radford

"Excellent! Kept me on the edge of my seat!"

-Calvin Padgett

"Saw it, loved it! Brad Pitt and the ensemble cast...fantastic! Probably one of the best films this year."

-Ellen McCraw

Reach Molly Phipps at 704-669-3339, at mphipps@shelbystar.com or on Twitter @MollyAPhipps.

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