The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

Christopher Webster [Celluloid 06.26.13] post apocalyptic zombies horror action thriller



I finally caught World War Z last night and, while I felt the experience was hampered by Forster's utter inability to handle action without whirling his camera around all over the place, I thought the film was a passable zombie blockbuster that actually retained the spirit of Max Brooks' original novel.

First of all, I don't think Max Brooks is being fair when he claims that World War Z was just turned into another alpha-male-saving-the-world-film. For a film to be compelling, the main character needs to be a part of the action of the story. It's screenwriting 101. Your main character can't be going around talking people who where involved after the fact. I mean, they could, but this is a summer tentpole. It just doesn't make for as compelling screentime. I suppose what I'm saying is, as much as I love Max Brooks' book and J. Michael Straczynski's original screenplay adaptation, I understand the decision to alter that aspect of the storytelling.


Secondly, the third act and end of the film isn't as bad as some people say. The whole WHO sequence adds some traditional horror beats to a film that, by then, really needs it. It also beats the hell out of this original ending. At least now we know why Mathew Fox ended up on the cutting room floor.


Here is a break down of what the original ending was:


1. The plane did not crash as it does in the theatrical version.

2. Gerry (Pitt) and his Israeli comrade, Segen, land in Moscow, where his phone (the link to his wife, Karin, and family) was taken away and he was forced to join the Russian Army against the zombies.

3. Months pass, and Gerry is now a zombie-killing machine.

4. Gerry's unit is tasked with clearing subway tunnels of zombie hordes. This is the first time we see the Lobo, a perfected zombie-killing tool that's sort of a shovel/battle axe that would have been one of the few things from the book to make it into the movie.

5. Gerry discovers that the cold weather is the best defense against the zombies as they freeze and are easier to kill.

6. Gerry comes across the Russian who stole his phone molesting Segen.
Gerry gets Segen and his phone back.

7. Gerry calls his wife, Karin, and he learns that she sells her body to keep their children safe.

8. Gerry also learns that his family is living in the Everglades, where the dead will never freeze.

9. Gerry then finds out that Matthew Fox's character is housing Gerry's wife and Fox tells him to stay away.

10. Gerry makes his way back to the United States as a means to rescue his family.

11. Gerry lands on the Oregon coast to begin a fight across the States to make it to the Everglades, where Karin and their kids are being kept.

12. Roll credits.

You might also like

avatar

Josh (4 years ago) Reply

Fighting the dead in tunnels alongside of the Russian army sounds like it would be pretty cool to me.

avatar

j.j. (4 years ago) Reply

I can tell you understand screenwriting, Agent Orange. You correctly identified that the new ending is much better than the older one. I wholeheartedly agree. Not many will.

avatar

Rev Wright (4 years ago) Reply

The new version sucks balls and id nothing to do with art and integrity, but instead a fear of a high mpaa rating for an overly expensive movie. Yet again Forster demonstrates he can't shoot action, after an appalling Bond movie. The WHO third act smacks if broadcast television, which ultimately may have been a better route.

avatar

Marc F (4 years ago) Reply

yeah, like you could do better

avatar

Rev Wright (4 years ago) Reply

Reckon I could Marcy Marc

avatar

donc48 (4 years ago) Reply

I have to agree with Agent Orange the old ending would have killed the movie. I have the feeling WWZ the movie will be debated long after the movie is On Demand. I liked the book and I liked the movie. Movies like books are subjective WWZ the movie is not going to be the tastes of everybody, and I suspect many simply went into the movie expecting the hate it because it did not follow the book. I wasn't expecting much and was surprised. I just hope they don't make a hash of the sequel.

avatar

waold war z (4 years ago) Reply

interesting

so what is really going on is that the studios decided to turn a horror movie to family friendly or pg 13
obviously to boost their sells

lol
i personally don t care really as long the alternate ending or if even version( if that s the case) comes out on the bluray

avatar

Rev Wright (4 years ago) Reply

I don't think they'll release the original ending as it breaks away from the new bacterial/virus solution that will feature in the sequel, instead of the cold

avatar

sideswipe (4 years ago) Reply

Movie wasn't as bad a trainwreck as feared from development & production snafus but it was the same tired summer everyday American schmuck turned hero formula. Not to say that's totally bad but we've seen the movie a hundred times whether it's Pitt, Smith, Willis, etc in the lead role with some up and coming actress playing the inert object of their dedication. Yeah this was a zombie movie only peripherally. It was more like suburban american dude has a bad day at the office and continually phones home to tell the wife that he will be late and that he loves her. Yaaawn.

avatar

lotus eater (4 years ago) Reply

download the audio book for world war z. Its bad ass.

avatar

wa5 (4 years ago) Reply

Saw it today, So let me get this straight? If I put the triffid poison in my eyes through the wooden mask... THATS when the salt water will melt the Zombies.. Have I got it right? .. Honestly, the Sharpened shovel was at the centre of the story.. it was so elegant, BECAUSE it was so simple.. why mess with it.. So many holes in the script...

avatar

MrSatyre (4 years ago) Reply

I'm really surprised at all the anti-WWZ film comments around the Internet. Honestly, folks, do any of you anti's really believe that the book, the way it's presented---as a series of interviews after the conclusion of the war---could be accurately translated into a 2 hour movie that would hold anyone's interest?

What should have been done, in my opinion, was hire Ken Burns (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Burns) to do a multi-part documentary based on the novel. Have AMC finance it and hire the crew of "The Walking Dead" to run the SFX. Air on AMC instead of PBS.

Who's with me?

avatar

Kc (4 years ago) Reply

I'm with Brooks on this one.
A capable director/writer could have done wonders with his book. This is the same old failed ''I am Legend'' kind of theme. Sure it will make money but it could of been 1000 times better.
The audiobook is actually a better cinematic experience than the movie itself...

avatar

wa5 (4 years ago) Reply

Mr Satyre.. you are an ideas man :)

avatar

Speedy (4 years ago) Reply

Actually decided now I won't bother watching this.

My main objection is: Why call it World War Z when it does not even pay lip serviceto the book. I can ignore the reviews saying Pitt's role could have been phoned in for the same effect, and even the stupidity of fast insect telepathic inteligent zombies.

avatar

wa5 (4 years ago) Reply

not to mention the Zombie being able to "smell" disease through a hermetically sealed vault.

avatar

pleeg3 (4 years ago) Reply

If you forget you read WWZ and seperate the two.... it's a Brad Pitt Zombie Box Office Hit. But the book was so much better. My Mom enjoyed it, the book, O.K. the audiobook. Maybe because Alan Alda, Rob Reiner and Henry Rollins are in it, (she loves the Rollin's Band).
If you've read the book listen to the audio.
That alternative ending was really out there. No wonder it took so long. Wouldn't Matthew Fox of been second billing?

avatar

chuc k (4 years ago) Reply

Jeez- just kick my walker out from under me already! At first I was imagining some old lady listening to Henry Rollins but then I realized 'oh wait- I'm old now, too'. Then I realized you said Rollins Band and not Black Flag, which makes your Mom potentially even younger.
I'm going to strap an onion to my belt and take my metamucil now but some day in the not-too-distant future when some young whippersnapper says 'My Mom used to love Skrillex back in the day' just smile and think of me.


Leave a comment