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Adam Truscott Is Left Flat After World War Z (Herein: World War Meh)

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The One With World War Meh

I think the moral of this particular story is never go to see a film at 9:30pm after a draining week. I’m sure it effected my judgement of World War Z. Even a tiny bit. Just a bit to nudge it down from my really liking it, to just liking it. And when you think I was expecting to love it…. well, it explains the flat feeling I have the morning after.

I’ve never read the book. Lets just get that out there. I’m still the guy that did an English Literature degree and only read one book. (American Pyscho, for your information). I’ll always be that person I’d imagine. I seek no comfort in books, and with films looking as good as they do now, I’d far rather spend two hours in the cinema. Just maybe not when the film starts at 10pm and I’m conscious I nodded off at least three times. (Definitely not a critique of the film – more context for my state of mind).

Now it’s worth pointing out I loved the family stuff. Pitt is excellent and I loved the start with him as his British (!) wife just being a family. It’s a cute set up and you like them, so are invested straight away – or at least I was. He makes pancakes, they have banter. And you know from the effective trailer that it will hit the fan, so they can take their time doing it, too.

As ever with modern-day Hollywood I had concerns. The girl who forgets her inhaler was a cliché waiting to happen, but they tackle that instantly – and in a really tender way. That boded well for me straight away as I knew we wouldn’t have a finale where Pitt was leap frogging zombies to get her some meds. And let’s be honest, with the state of some modern films that was a possibility.

So it has me engaged, and I’m really enjoying Pitt being a more mature version of the character I’d built up in my head. He’s excellent in the quieter scenes. Taping a magazine round his arm to save himself from nibbles. Taping a knife to the end of his gun. It’s all very well done. The score plays along nicely in the background, unassuming and inoffensive. The film just…. is. It carries on until it ends and that’s it. And the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a missed opportunity. Crying out instead for a TV series instead, maybe? Because the quiet moments, (the goodbye to his wife and kids is brilliantly done, as is the reason they get him to go back for one last job).

I think it’s partly the fact they opted for a massively low-key ending. Certainly versus the highs of Jerusalem, it’s very very low-key. People going in expecting a $200M version of 28 days/weeks are going to be dumb founded. Where did it all go? It’s certainly not been spunked onto the screen Snyder style. Sure, some of the wide shots are fab. There is a real sense of carnage here, but in reality, the I Am Legend digs that I’d seen beforehand are valid. I loved that film mind, especially its braver original ending, so it didn’t bother me as such.

There was laughter in the cinema at points, and I couldn’t work out if it was with the film or at it.

Maybe both?

I’d certainly make changes. The more I ramble on the more I realise that. I certainly wouldn’t have Pitt leave his phone on loud in one of the films tenser scenes. What a dick. Really silly, that.

I’d also boost the score a bit. It’s got a John Carpenter vibe for a lot of the interior scenes. So naturally I’d throw in a synth score. Nothing crazy. Assault On Precinct 13’s would be spot on.

I’m going to give it another go. As I said at the start before I started to depress myself with the films short comings, I wanted to love it.

I thought some of the frenzied Zombie action was excellent. But I was surprised by how Forster lowered himself on the editing front in the opening salvo in Phili. The camera angles are so tight to the action, and so erratically cut that I felt a bit nauseous – the first time ever for me in a 3D film. It’s a shame as the 3D is effective in other places. Plenty of swooping plane shots etc. Nothing new, but certainly more depth than I’d anticipated.

It’s just a shame they skipped out on depth in other areas.

Who knows, I may even read the book….


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