*This review may contain some spoilers in the Parental Advisory section in an effort to inform parents as to the films content.*
After countless script rewrites and production delays (it was originally scheduled to be released last year), World War Z finally hits theatres across North America today. The zombie-infested flick is the pet project of star Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B Entertainment — and while significant delays often spell doom at the box office, the re-working of the film from the bottom up paid off in spades. World War Z is an entertaining, edge-of-your-seat summer blockbuster that will likely appeal to the older kids in your family.
Loosely based on the novel by Max Brooks, World War Z is less about a zombie apocalypse than the single-handed efforts of former U.N. field investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) who will stop at nothing to contain — and ideally defeat — this mysterious global pandemic.
What we loved
After opening with an idyllic family setting (Pitt’s character has a wife and two young daughters), World War Z gets down to business with a thrilling, chilling action sequence where zombies suddenly take over suburban Philadelphia with rapid speed. The first time we see a person fully transform into a zombie is memorably creepy.
The fresh spin on the zombie fad: Instead of slow, laboured walking with outstretched arms these zombies can run, jump and tend to travel in massive packs — more like a swarm of bees.
The final 40 minutes of the film, where Pitt is essentially left alone to fend off a building full of zombies: The whole “hero vs. the world” has a distinctly 90s feel. It’s not very often we get a good old-fashioned hero at the centre of a film. Pitt is Bruce Willis-level cool and collected throughout. He’s an old-school style of hero, which makes the finale all the more exciting.
And last, but definitely not least, Brad Pitt himself. There’s no denying the star’s charisma and effortless ability to carry an entire film on his shoulders. It’s fun watching him get into action mode.
Parental advisory (*POTENTIAL SPOILERS*)
Well, there are zombies. That being said, the action sequences are fast and, since the zombies travel in packs, the camera never lingers for very long on the zombie faces until the final 40 minutes when Pitt has to fend them off himself in a building.
Despite the fact that there are zombies, most of the violence occurs off screen (although there are icky sound effects).
There’s violent plane crash that leaves a character impaled through the stomach with a chunk of metal.
A character chops someone’s arm off to prevent them from being infected (no blood is shown).
The intensity level never really lets up which may make younger kids feel a certain level of discomfort throughout the film.
Some disturbing imagery. When we do get a close-up of the zombie’s faces the make-up is definitely creepy.
There is very, very little profanity and absolutely no sex or nudity.
14A — Parental guidance required for kids under the age of 14
World War Z is the type of summer entertainment that older kids and adults will seek out. It’s a fun, action-laden flick that will leave moviegoers satisfied. Definitely not for kids under the age of 14 (unless you have particularly brave little ones in your household).
You can also check out our gallery of this summer’s family-friendly movies!