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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Arts Recommends: “World War Z”

Published: September 6, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

While “World War Z” is a film that explores the deconstruction of social norms and constructs while focusing on human survival in dire circumstances, it is also a great motivation to go to the gym. After watching zombies chase down millions of the members of the global population, the viewer begins to question could they themselves outrun a zombie. The answer is, you should probably hit the treadmill. One of the most epic scenes of the film is when zombies attack Israel, spilling over a great wall that is meant to contain them. All those not in an airplane, and who cannot run fast enough, are infected. The film gives the viewer the mentality of a survivor, who is always on the move, often bleeding and without food. It raises the question of whether or not any of us would have a chance at survival if we were thrust into this society.
The film, which opened in theaters June 21, has grossed more than $500 million to date and stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane. Lane must protect his family from a worldwide invasion of zombies, which he does by bravely thrusting himself into areas of the world already overtaken by the creatures. The movie is loosely based on a novel of the same title, written by Max Brooks in 2006. But for those who expect a similar adaptation, perhaps they should forget everything they ever read. The movie called for a central character and logical plot, which the book lacked as it featured countless characters in various countries. And while the book demonstrated the impact of politics and health care on a global scale, the movie stands on its own as a tale of fatherly love and the will to survive.
The opening of the film is perhaps the most terrifying, a testament to the director, Marc Forster’s skills, and succeeds in engaging the audience’s attention. As Lane and his family sit stopped in traffic, a person in a nearby car begins to change into a snarling zombie. The panic that happens next is all too real—what would happen if a bomb was dropped or shots were fired in real life. The incompetence of Pitt and his wife (Mireille Enos) to protect their two young daughters is heartbreaking. While “World War Z” is a film set in an time where half the human race eats flesh, it relates to modern day issues like family ties, immigration and survival of the fittest.
The close of the film obviously sets up viewers for a sequel, with Pitt even stating, “This isn’t the end, not even close.” The novel “World War Z” covers decades of the zombie war, from freezing out the creatures in northern countries to the triumph of the human race. If Forster wanted, he could probably create five more films with the material in the 342-page novel.
And we wouldn’t be complaining.