Movie Comments – World War Z

WorldWarZ-Poster

The required US legal disclaimer: All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique

What does one do when at the beach and the temp is over 100F with feels-like temps over 110F? Well go see a movie in a nice air conditioned movie theater that’s what. We did exactly that one hot evening in Norfolk. Mike wanted to see Lone Ranger. I vetoed that very quickly the badly CGI’d rubbery looking horse on top of the train in the commercial turned me off.  Also I’m not into westerns much and prefer gritty ones or comedy – think Blazing Saddles.

Aaron had seen WWZ and said it was good.  If a bio-chemist with epidemiology emphasis and loves actions flicks says it’s good we’re game.  Besides I adore zombies from Walking Dead (comic or TV show) to Shaun of the Dead.  I’m up for zombies.  Heck even in bad movies zombies are good.

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had read part of the book and liked it.  It was a cyber check out and returned itself before I had time to finish it.  That was a busy time and I’ve not put myself back on the waiting list for the kindle edition or paper one.  I went in aware that there were changes from the book.  First Brad Pitt made the movie for his son who loved the book so he wanted the hero he played to have a more family focus and in the end make it back to his family.  Understandable, I can take differing stories (The Walking Dead does that) if both are well done.

Let me say up front WWZ did not disappoint in the action department.  Then again when it is a true World War action is a requirement.  The zombies being fast moving and traveling in insect swarms was well done and chilling.  It really dehumanized them fast and made them things instead of Uncle Billy gone wrong.  The moral issues of can we save them goes out the window very fast when they are doing things like piling up to rip helicopters out of the air.

The special effects were good.  I’d heard that the swarms were a struggle to get a non rubbery look to them.  They were decent and shown in quick flashes so they couldn’t be over scrutinized.  Which honestly when running from zombies – that’s all you’d take in any way fast flashing looks to think “Holy shit they just tore my ride from the sky!”  and run off to find a good hole to hide in and defend.

Over all it was a great Summer action flick with a very smart ending.  It doesn’t resolve all the issues but it’s a nice chapter closing one.  It gives room for sequels and I read that one is in the works.  Unlike the book where it’s a series of characters telling their WWZ stories and from that we get the history of the incident it appears the movies are going to follow Pitt’s character. If you like zombies, action flicks, or both this is a good movie for you.

Now that said here are some spoilers that are issues I had with the movie.  If you don’t want spoilers then don’t go below the jump.

Okay first off why is Pitt our best hope for investigating this.  Sure he was good at UN investigations but he isn’t a doctor, he’s not an epidemiologist.  What the heck is he and what exactly are his investigation skills?  Surely if the world’s preeminent epidemiologist gets killed there’s someone with more training in this field than him.

Next – why didn’t she go into shock when he chopped off her hand.  Really after being bitten and then getting your hand lopped off I’d think the body would go into shock – Masada agent or not.

Also it was convenient that their plane crashed a walk (her just having lost her hand and him having a piece of metal run through his side)  from the WHO labs they wanted to go to.  I mean really it looked like they crashed closer to the destination than they would have been had they landed at the airport.

Now at the World Health Organization labs – sloppy lab practices.  First off if you working with an unknown disease that can turn you into the undead in 12 seconds why aren’t the scientists in special non-contamination suits with track air hoses say like the CDC uses in their high risk contagion labs?  Instead they are in lab coats – no respirators and no gloves.  Just asking for an accident that crapped up all 80 people in that wing.

If you want to go into a wing that’s crowded with zombies why not go outside sit down a noise maker, open a door to the outside from the contaminated wing, run in, watch on surveillance and when most are out go into the wing.  Then you don’t have to deal with all the zombies just the few that weren’t close enough to be attracted to the noise.

Next if you had a vault of the most fatal diseases in people why would you keep syringes in there?  I mean good basic safety protocols would say that there would be procedures to get those two things together so no mistakes could be made.  They also have vaccines there and you don’t want someone to wander into the wrong vault and draw up a dose of a deadly disease.

Then we know that the dose of the disease saved him, If she wants to get out there she’ll have to inoculate herself with the disease. So why was she wearing a mask and gloves to cure him when they didn’t take even those simple precautions when handling an unknown pathogen that makes zombies?  I mean doesn’t she want to get it too so she’s invisible to the zombies?

Let’s go back to the vault, now the investigator who isn’t disease investigation qualified doesn’t know what diseases to take.  Instead of holding up a note saying tell my family I love them – why doesn’t he do this?  First hold up a note saying “If you can read this ring the phone once.”  He knows they can call that phone out there so they call it rings once, hang up.  Next note, “call when I hold up the right vial, ring once.”  They do,  Next note, “Call and let ring the number of cc’s I should give myself.”  They do and then he’s not guessing on what to give himself and how much.  THEN as he does the dose do the tell the family note.

That’s just the few things we hit on during our drive home.  LOL!  Still it’s fiction and you have to suspend disbelief and go with it.  Yet as always I’m reminded good fiction addresses these issues, it’s real without being too real ya know. Even if there are fantasy elements there needs to be grounding in the other elements.

Still even with all that I enjoyed the movie – Until next time!

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