Movie #1: World War Z

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Once again, the movies on my watch-list have piled up and I need to spend another summer catching up. Where to begin… well, while I love science fiction in general, there are only two subgenres of sci-fi that I don’t love: zombies and post-apocalyptic survival. So, it is either foolish or maybe gutsy that I start my little marathon with a combination of both. World War Z is the story of one man trying to save the world from zombie destruction. It falls neatly into both of those subgenres, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a UN operative who is on a mission to help get clues to the origin of a zombie plague that has killed and zombified the world’s population (an army computer screen indicates 3.6 billion and rising rapidly). At first I expected another Walking Dead style tale of people fighting for survival and forming new societies surrounded by the undead, but this movie is more of an action film in the vein of Mission Impossible (“M.I.:Z”, if you will). Gerry runs from one global location to the next looking in each place for certain clues or answers to how to stop the zombies. In each city, he only narrowly (we’re talking really narrowly) escapes the hordes of undead. On top of the Bourne-esque heroics, there is also a pretty big scale to this story. From Korea to Israel to Wales to the US and Canada, it is really interesting to see how the world supposedly deals with this plague. Also, the zombies themselves are actually pretty thrilling. They are stupid and moan a lot, but they are crazy-fast and literally throw themselves at people, walls, windows, whatever it takes to get more victims. I was tense (but in a thrilled and excited way) every minute of this movie. Besides being a well-produced and well-made action movie (albeit with zombies), I think the other key to this movie is that it’s pretty intelligent. The solution to the zombie problem is not ultimately an easy one, and even though the answers do come a little too quickly and too simply, it’s still convincing and kind of believable. It almost pains me to recommend a zombie-apocalypse movie, so let’s just call this one an exciting, genre thrill-ride and leave it at that. (4.5 out of 5) As for my 50 movie marathon, the pistol has been fired, and we’re off!

1 down, 49 more to go!

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