Zombie Owlbreak

22 Jun

WWZ

As far as zombie films go I tend to be a little dubious. I get easily infuriated with the mindless stupidity of characters and attempts at avoiding clichés (they’re not zombies, they’re infected with rage…) fool no one. So it was refreshing to watch a film which acknowledged the stereotypes of ‘zombie lore’ in an interesting way and in which the characters genuinely seem to react both realistically and intelligently to dangerous situations.

The man of the hour was of course Brad Pitt, who, as per usual acted superbly in the role of Gerry Lane. It was, as usual, a typical Hollywood method of having a lone reluctant hero rather than a complex cast, but with the suggestion of WWZ developing into a trilogy there could be room for development. In addition, although he was the usual reluctant hero it was nice to have the motivation of doing it for the good of the world as well as to protect his family, rather than stumbling into it or avenging the deaths of his wife/girlfriend/some other random female written in purely to die. His family does the job of being a motivator without become a source of pain to emotionally cripple him purely for the sake of pseudo character development. Though, admittedly, it does occasionally get a little boring watching his family, under no threat whatsoever, get mildly bullied by Those Big Mean Army Guys on the boat, and his wife, a fairly flat 2D character stand up for herself and her kids in no way whatsoever. Like, literally she just nods along with everything and her range of emotions bounces between “I’m frightened, but I will compose myself!” and “I will smile serenely because I have hope!”

Even if this female character is depressingly stereotypical, the movie makes up for it through the awesome character of Segen, who is just badass. Played superbly by relatively new Israeli actor Daniella Kertesz, she is a strong female who is not over-sexualised, but neither is she inherently unfeminine. She has an awesome short haircut, but she is not dressed up to look like a boy, she doesn’t act like a guy, she isn’t over the top dark and edgy – she is just a BADASS WOMAN. How cool and refreshing is that? She saved Brad Pitt’s ass on at least three separate occasions, even if it was a little understated, but she wasn’t portrayed as some girl who isn’t like other girls, you know? Kertesz is fantastic as well, I really hope we see more from her. It is a shame that there isn’t a huge amount of character backstory – some mystery is given to her when Pitt tries to find out her name, but otherwise she’s fairly quiet. Hopefully in future films she’ll develop a little more. Because. I. Actually. Love. Her.

LOOK AT HOW BADASS SHE IS

LOOK AT HOW BADASS SHE IS

In terms of cinematography, the film was shot very well. The first half of the film is by far the stronger – brilliant camera work manages to capture the chaos and confusion of action scenes, without boring you with endless blurred images where you can’t see what’s going on at all – let’s be honest, no one actually likes shaky cam. Filming took place in the UK and Malta (even the scenes in Philly were actually shot in Glasgow!) and on the whole there are some really beautiful locations and scenes. Musically, the soundtrack was good at creating suspense, though it was a little too close to sounding like Inception to be original.

The second half of the film seems weaker, as if all the budget was blown on the first half. Perhaps because the thing with zombie lore is that the fear is created by fear of the majority – fear of the minority works for bad guys like vampires, demons and serial killers. By the second half, we don’t have the endless hordes of zombies piling on top of each other and swarming. Instead, it feels like a video game – sneaking past them and killing them one at a time. A little disappointing, and perhaps due to last minute juggling of writers. Generally, however, the great visuals and easy to follow plot makes it an enjoyable watch, though my boyfriend assures me that it is a poor adaption of the book, which takes a much more global scale.

All in all, worth a watch, though perhaps with limited rewatch value. I look forward to the sequels, though I’m not sure where else they can take it, and I really hope there’s more of Segen. Because I. Really. Really. Love. Her.

Verdict: 8/10

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