The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Why my next jogging tour will be more exciting than World War Z

with 32 comments

world war z

Zombies. I’m all about zombies these days. Ask my family about it. They don’t want to hear another word about them.

This is a new situation. Until pretty recently I had barely seen a zombie movie and I more or less dismissed the genre. Why would I care about brainless brain eaters hobbling around, making incomprehensible noises? They appeared dull compared to the sophisticated vampire genre with all its sexual undertones.

The first step towards my zombification was probably when I watched the first season of The Walking Dead and became rather charmed by it. While there was more action in it, it reminded me of the British TV series Survivors from the late 70s, where most of mankind has died from a sudden outbreak of a lethal virus. The difference is of course that zombie make for better film since you can see them as opposed to some invisible infection.

But what really got me hooked was when I shortly after came across Zombies, Run! This is a little app, a game or a story or an aid and motivator for runners, depending on how you see it and use it. Basically you listen to it while you’re making a jogging tour. You are the hero, Runner 5, and you’re getting instructions in your headset as you’re out on missions saving the world while zombies are chasing you. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s kind of addictive. From finding running rather tedious and appalling, I almost look forward to my next run. I need to see where the story goes, how the community of survivors are doing, what the zombies are up to.

Sorry if I’m boring you with this raving about my newly found love for zombies (again, my family don’t want to hear a word more about it). I just want to let you know where I was coming from when I set out to watch World War Z. A zombie invasion of the world sounded like just my cup of tea and I was looking forward to get some visual inspiration for my own imagination that could enhance my future running.

Starting with a kick
Those zombies in this movie are quite different to any zombies I’ve previously seen, resembling most of all to a swarm of insects. The zombies in The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies  or in my runner’s app could be threatening enough and occasionally faster than you’d like them to be. But they were never anywhere near as fast runners as those little buggers and they never transformed as quickly – within seconds from the biting. No wonder people panicked in the streets! I certainly would too.

I suspect that this goes against some of the established ideas about how zombies are supposed to work. But I’m fine with that, the same way as I can embrace different versions of vampires. You can put up whatever rules you want in your own zombie universe, as long as you’re consistent about them.

With zombies this fast, threatening and quickly spreading, the movie gets a bit of a kick start. We only have a brief introduction to Brad Pitt’s character before we see him and his family fleeing for their life through a city that quickly is breaking down after a massive zombie invasion. It’s chaotic, it’s frightening and it got me on the hook.

Ends with a whimper
Sadly the hook lost its grip as time went by and when we came to the end, my emotional connection to the story was completely gone an adrift on the ocean. It starts really big, with a bang and the imminent end of the world, but it ends with a whimper at a laboratory in Cardiff in the most embarrassing way (don’t get me started on how illogical it is and how stupidly they act even if you assume that the theory was correct). It makes the movie feel a great deal smaller than its 190 million dollar budget, more like something worthy a mini TV series.

As I understand it, the recording of this movie was troublesome and they had to rewrite and recut it several times. Somewhere during this cutting and tempering I’m afraid they got lost. I can’t rid myself of the thought that the ending was put together in an act of desperation, pressured by time and budget limits closing in.

Apart from the way they ended it, it also bugged me that I never really got to know any of the characters properly. I know you can’t expect to get under the skin of people the same way as you do in a TV series like The Walking Dead; the format doesn’t allow it. But I would expect a little more than we got here. Basically all information I had about anyone was that Brad Pitt worked for UN, had quit his job to spend more time with his family, but is forced back into service once the disaster breaks out. Oh, and he’s a good investigator. The best they have. Why that is, is unclear. Honestly, it takes a little more than this to start sympathising with someone and care strongly about their wellbeing and survival. And the problem is that when you don’t care for the people depictured in a movie, it will take some mighty impressive action scenes to compensate for it. To some extent they manage to do this, but it’s not enough to carry the entire movie.

Thanks to the impressive mass scenes with the right end-of-the-world atmosphere I I’ll go as far as to giving it an average rating. I don’t advice anyone against watching it. For some mindless action, it’s okish.

But if you want to experience some zombie excitement with people you really care about, I’d rather recommend the zombie running app. It has characters you start caring about, it’s a great deal cheaper than a theatre ticket, lasts for months and might as a bonus also have some interesting side effects on your health.

World War Z (Marc Foster, US 2013) My rating: 3/5

Written by Jessica

July 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Posted in World War Z

32 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Because I’m gonna see this on Thursday I haven’t read your text, but I’m pretty sure that my grade will be the same. I’m actively choosing a 2D screening. I’ve heard the 3D is awful. Did you see it in 3D?


    July 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

    • Nope, I watched it in 2D, thankfully. Post production 3D tends to really put me off since everyone looks like a paper doll and I can’t thnk of anything else.


      July 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    • And… I liked it more than you did! I gave it 4/5. Had a blast at the 2D cinema screening. You have valid points regarding the ending. But unlike you I appreciated the small scale and suspense we got there. 🙂


      July 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  2. Welcome back 🙂
    WWZ – having read the book wich was good I underrstand that the movie will never reach the same heights.but I´m going to see it tonight and will do my best to see it in 2D depending on tickets and seats.


    July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

    • Thanks!
      I might very well read the book. I get the feeling that there’s so much more to this story than what is shown in the movie. There must be. Maybe this is more like an appetizer.


      July 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

  3. I still haven’t got around to seeing this. I like the whole zombie thing too which attracts me to this but the iffy reviews do put me off. I have a feeling, however, that if I don’t see this at the cinema, I’ll probably never see it.

    Oh and good to see you back 🙂

    • Hey there! This comment got stuck in the spam filter for some reason, but now I’ve released it. I think it’s a nice movie to see if you’re sick at home or something. Not too brainy so to say, which I guess is appropriate. 🙂


      July 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

  4. Very nice review. I gotta say this is one of my favorites of the year and easily the biggest surprise of the year for me. I really was surprised at how invested I was and with just how much I liked the story. I had a ton of fun both times I watched it.


    July 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    • Awww…. hearing that makes me smile! Even if I didn’t appreciate it quite as much as you did, it always makes me genuinely happy to hear people being enthusiastic about movies. There’s too much ranting and too little raving about movies these days. Everyone seems to be so tired and critical and cynical. Here’s to more movie happiness! Cheers!


      July 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      • Let me tell you something funny. WWZ is a monumental film in our household. My young son heralds it as his “first zombie movie”! Of course that will change over time but it has turned into a historical event here! 😀


        July 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

        • That’s just wonderful! Maybe you can treat him with some more examples from the genre.


          July 15, 2013 at 2:08 pm

          • Oh I’m dying to show him “Night of the Living Dead” – my very favorite horror picture.


            July 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  5. Zombies, Run! I love that app too! Been running every other day since I got it 🙂

    I am not in the shape I used to be so I started with the 5 k training one but will soon be a real runner and go for real missions.

    Have you seen the fan films on youtube?


    July 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • Yay! Go you! The real app is loads better than the training one, so you’ve really got something to look forward to!
      I haven’t checked out the fan videos yet, though I know there are a lot of fans out there. I know they’re making fan fiction and stuff. But I’ve ordered myself a Runner 5 t-shirt! It will only make sense to other Zombie runners, but it’s a fun little nod.


      July 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      • Me too! A t-shirt, I mean 🙂


        July 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        • This is just wonderful! We have to meet sometime soon in our Runner 5 shirts and geek out over our newest game addiction! I had no idea you were on it! 🙂


          July 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

  6. Welcome back to the non-IRL! More thurough comments are coming up so I’ll state just for now that I liked it. Good entertainment, basically.


    July 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    • I’m looking forward to your take. Basically I consider you a zombie movie expert.


      July 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

  7. Great post! That app sounds very fun. And we seem to agree on WWZ. I also thought the ending was a letdown.


    July 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    • You should try it out if you have any inclination in running whatsoever (or maybe even more so if you don’t have it ;)). Yeah, the ending was kind of lame, but the first part was pretty entertaining.


      July 15, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  8. I’m a big fan of zombie movies. I didn’t really like the Walking Dead series, stopped watching halfway through the second series as it wasn’t moving anywhere and a lot of it was just stolen from Romero’s movies.

    Talking of zombies, Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead are great movies. Especially the last one is a heavily underrated movie, I recommended it. Furthermore: Dead Girl, 28 days later are nice. And to stop in Scandinavia: Dead Snow was a fun.

    Btw: welcome back 🙂


    July 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    • Thanks! I’ve seen so few zombie movies, so I didn’t notice the stealing. And I’ve only see the first season, consisting of six episodes or so, but I liked it so for. My hope is that more will be made available at Netflix at some point in the future (I’m not keen enough to buy it on DVD). I’m curious about the comic it’s based on. From what I’ve heard it’s very good.
      I haven’t seen any of the zombie movies you mention. I have quite a bit of catching up to do!


      July 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      • I heard good things about the comics but haven’t read any. I did play through the Walking Dead videogames which play like an interactive movie and they were great.


        July 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

        • sounds fun! For the time being I’ll stick with my running game though. I like its side effects!


          July 16, 2013 at 12:25 am

  9. I’m not a fan of the zombies genre either, give me those sexy vampires any day (well except those from Twilight!)

    That said, I might give this one a shot on Blu-ray. Not a fan of Pitt so I don’t know how I’d feel about this one.


    July 17, 2013 at 12:10 am

    • You definitely don’t need to see this in a theatre. It’s not bad though for some light entertainment at home.


      July 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

  10. […] Reel Talk Fr. Dennis at the Movies To The Escape Hatch! Shelf Heroes Nathan Zoebl Blog Your Face! The Velvet Café Benend’s Basement AngryVader’s Movie Blah… The Movie Waffler Dan the […]

  11. […] publicerar jag, Filmitch, Fripps Filmrevyer och Jojjenito våra två ören idag. Fiffi och Jessica har däremot varit zombiesnabba med sina […]

  12. […] Jessica […]

  13. […] skriver om World War Z idag är, förutom Henke, Sofia och Filmitch. Och sen tidigare har Fiffi och Jessica avhandlat […]

  14. […] World War Z The film is pale compared to the book it’s based on, with little more than the title in common. But I give it as much as that the mass scenes with zombies were awesome. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: