WORLD WAR Z (2013)
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marielle Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Fana Mokoena
Plot: In your head, In your head, Zombie! Zombie!
Rating: PG-13 for violent zombie rampages that aren’t gory enough to warrant an R rating.
A zombie apocalypse? No thank you. Count me out compadre. No siree-bob.
Why? They’re noisy, frightening, and disgusting and nothing good ever comes from them. Basically a zombie apocalypse is like the Coachella Music Festival minus the hippies.
But when a global pandemic turns everyone into bloodthirsty zombies, you’ll be glad Brad Pitt is on your side and not me.
Trust me. I don’t do well under pressure. I burst into tears when Starbucks is out of Cranberry Orange Scones.
On a beautiful morning in Philadelphia, retired United Nations investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is having breakfast with his beautiful wife and daughters, who are also by some amazing coincidence beautiful too! Their perfect TV commercial family world is blown to heck when a mysterious viral outbreak rumbles through Philadelphia, turning normal citizens into violent bloodthirsty maniacs with a taste for human flesh. And no, I’m not talking about Phillies fans, I’m talking Zombies!
And these aren’t the usual shuffle along at one mile an hour zombies you see in the movies – these are the stampede at you full speed and climb up buildings to get to you zombies which is totally unfair for a guy like me who can barely break the 20 minute mile on the treadmill. So I guess slowpokes like me are zombie food before the opening credits are over. Great, a zombie and I’m in Philadelphia. Not sure which is worse.
Anyhoo, Gerry and his family manage to escape Philly and head for the safety of Newark New Jersey, where the zombie outbreak has also taken place, but very few people notice. Luckily, Gerry puts a call to his best buddy, UN Deputy Secretary Umutoni (Fana Mokoena) who picks up the Lane family in a chopper and takes them to a Navy ship in the ocean where the remnants of the United Stated government are trying to figure out how to stop the zombies while voting on who is the next secretary of transportation.
And so Gerry begins a one man journey to find out where the zombie virus originated and how to stop it before the entire world is destroyed. He heads to South Korea, where there are zombies and some clues to the origin of the outbreak, then to Jerusalem where there are more zombies and more clues, then finally to a remote World Health Organization lab in Cardiff where he figures out a cure, but the ingredients to the cure are in a sealed off section of the compound which are surrounded by – wait for it – zombies!
World War Z moves along at a pretty urgent pace as Brad Pitt tries to stay one step ahead of the zombie hoards that are engulfing the planet. The movie hints of a possible sequel, but since this movie didn’t make a ton of money I’d say this is a one shot zombie apocalypse.
I’ll say one thing about World War Z: With the entire world in flames and society as we know it collapsing it’s good to know that the airplanes are still running frequent flights around the globe. Of course, you and I aren’t superstars like Brad Pitt, so if we had to fly across country to stop a zombie apocalypse there’s a really good chance we’d have to change planes in Denver and have at least a two hour layover in Atlanta.
Why is it always a layover in Atlanta?
2012: Zombie Apocalypse (2011) Director: Nick Lyon Starring: Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Gary Weeks Rating: NR, but has some gory zombie makeup and brain eating fun and games.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years – which is something I do not recommend, believe you me – Zombies are all the rage right now. Everywhere you turn there are TV shows, comic books, toys, clothing, video games and household novelties devoted to these undead brain eaters.
I haven’t seen this kind of feverish devotion to ugly, horrifying creatures since the Cabbage Patch Kids phenomenon in the eighties!
Of course, zombies are still very popular in the cinema, with movie studios cranking out saga after gory saga about desperate humans fighting to stay alive in a world full of walking corpses. Zombie Apocalypse is one of these movies I watched recently, mostly because it stars super-cool badass Ving Rhames, who at this point in his career has more zombie movies on his resume then George A. Romero.
Zombie Apocalypse opens with a brief prologue describing how the apocalypse went down: a mysterious virus begins mutating the worlds population into murderous zombies. The governments of the world fight back by releasing an electromagnetic pulse which shuts down every electronic device in the world, because everyone knows how useless zombies are without their smartphones, computers, and cars.
The film follows a small band of survivors who are making their way cross country to Los Angeles to catch a boat to Catalina Island where survivors are trying to rebuild civilization and hopefully do some sailing and sport fishing, weather permitting of course.
The group is a motley collection of characters who’ve learned to survive in the zombie wasteland. Let’s do a role call!
Mack (Gary Weeks) – The sort of leader. He’s handsome, rugged, and handsome. He’s got a square jaw and he’s not afraid to use it. He kills zombies with an aluminum baseball bat, which is also handsome.
Cassie (Lesley-Ann Brandt) – The tough hot girl. She slashes away at the undead with a sword and looks gorgeous while doing it. She hopes her husband is still alive, but hasn’t heard from him since the darn apocalypse started.
Julien (Johnny Pacar) – The wiry wisecracker. Every team needs a guy to make sarcastic comments between zombie battles, and Julien fills that position perfectly. He keeps a journal and quotes poetry, so nobody will miss him if he’s eaten by zombies.
Ramona (Taryn Manning) – The whiny new girl. Ramona was rescued by the others at the start of the movie, so she’s not a seasoned fighter like the others. But she does make up for her shortcomings by being a jittery mess when the zombies come. Major high maintenance.
Henry (Ving Rhames) – Hell to the yeah! Henry’s weapon if choice is a sledgehammer, which he uses to crush zombie skulls. If Ving used a sledgehammer on his 2005 Kojak series, that short lived show would still be on the air today, and would win the emmy for best show ever every year!
Despite having Ving Rhames wielding a sledgehammer (best thing ever!) Zombie Apocalypse is loaded with the standard zombie movie cliches: The heroes fight and run from zombies, who are slow and lumbering, yet manage to sneak up on on everyone with ninja like stealth. At least once, the heroes get split up. One group gets trapped by zombies and rescued by the other group at the very last second. One guy gets scratched by a zombie but doesn’t tell anyone until he turns into a zombie. And my all time favorite; the heroes use those magic movie handguns which fire hundreds of times without ever running out of bullets.
2012: Zombie Apocalypse was made by the infamous film production company The Asylum, which makes low budget direct to DVD monster and horror movies that make Ed Wood’s filmography look like AFI’s top 10, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you like your films amateurish and cliched and your Ving Rhameses armed with a sledge hammer, (and I know you do) then sit back and relax as 2012: Zombie Apocalypse eats your brain.
You weren’t using it that much anyway.