Based on Max Brooks' popular novel, World War Z is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that delivers.
The plot pits Brad Pitt against zombified mindless minions whose only focus is to kill and eat human flesh. Pitt's Gerry Lane is tasked with solving the zombie outbreak that threatens to kill everyone on Earth. He's a United Nations specialist, a problem-solver looking for the chink in the armor of the virus that is causing the chaos. Lane travels the world looking for clues.
Pitt and Mireille Enos (TV's The Killing) are the only known main actors. Matthew Fox and David Morse have small parts. Other than that, most of the cast is filled with unknowns.
The real star of the movie is director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). No offense to Pitt, but any decent actor could have done the role and made it work. Dialogue doesn't really matter. The film's many themes drive the movie. That's why so many unknowns are cast. It's how the movie is done and the excellent special effects that make World War Z a heavy horror tale.
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As he did with parts of Quantum of Solace, Forster rivets you to your seat with nail-chewing action sequences that will have you holding your breath.
Oddly, of all the horror movie genres, zombie flicks have the most personality. Shambling, mindless brain-eaters can be funny as well as provide heavy drama. It's obvious -- the better producers get at zombie films, the more believable the idea becomes. How believable? A couple of years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a manual to help you survive a zombie outbreak.
The question is, will you survive this movie? World War Z's intensity level is off the charts. Pitt, Forster and crew offer up the best horror film of the year.
A last note: You can catch this in 3D or traditional 2D. Normally, I urge people to catch a 3D version if available. While three dimensions do add a bit to the intensity of World War Z, this one will be just as good in an ordinary version.
Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, Matthew Fox, David Morse
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and graphic violence. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.