World War Z, if you hadn’t heard, is a book that’s styled as an intellectual history of a massive, unprecedented global calamity which happens to involve zombies. Written by Max Brooks, it’s obviously not high art, but it is terrifically well written and the world it conjures is truly vivid and truly scary. So when the movie was announced, I was excited. But then came the naysaying reports – the bloated budget, the over-runs, the re-shoots, the clashes between Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster, Max Brooks distancing himself from the entire project. My heart sank. But then, and then….I went to see it.
All I can tell you is that World War Z is a cracking film. It’s a thrilling ride (maybe a little gore-less for most zombie genre fans) that races headlong from country to country as the world caves in and Brad tries to reach the source of the infection. It’s NOTHING like the book, but the exposition is excellent, the cinematography is astounding, the sfx breath-taking, the speed, the zip, the tension, the pressure is just first rate. There’s no maudlin crap either, and no false sympathy engendered by a rescued dog or a lost girl. It’s just a relentless scramble to save the earth. This is how we like our disaster movies.
World War Z filmed Glasgow for Philadelphia and Malta for Jerusalem. It’s even got James Badge Dale. It’s literally a Must-See (yes, even in hated 3-D) and my movie-of-the-year so far.