World War Z (2013)—Z stands for zombie—is a war movie. Or, at any rate, it is until it reaches the World Health Organization facility where it proves itself to be a medical thriller as well. But, yes, the film displays the continual military firing upon fast-moving zombies, as if Allied warriors were fighting supernatural Nazis.
At first, though, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) struggles to protect his family from the zombies in a well-executed busy street sequence. Later, Gerry is called upon by his old employer, the U.N., to help look for a solution, and sheer mayhem and desperate soldiering follow. An adaptation of a novel by Max Brooks, the story eventually becomes more far-fetched than it should—what makes Gerry so sure the people the zombies are leaving alone are sick?—but the good news is this:
1. The stupidity that exists in the entertaining Fast and Furious 6 does not exist here. 2. Director Marc Forster keeps the movie kinetically thrilling and visually compelling. The looted supermarket stuff is an example, as are the shots of undead critters climbing the high wall of Jerusalem and soon getting shot at by Israeli aircraft. Just as powerful, however, is a relatively quiet scene where Gerry tries to fend off a zombie at the WHO facility.
World War Z is quite the dreadnought. But, hey, Mireille Enos (The Killing) has too small a part as Gerry’s wife. Moviemakers, let’s see what Enos can do. We’ve long been aware of what zombies can do.