Life in the undead yet

88267143SR: Hollywood proves there’s life in the undead genre yet, with this thrilling, yet well worn, zombie tale.

Word War Z

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale.

Directed by Marc Forster

Written by Matthew Carnahan

Horror, action. 116 minutes. Rated M, violence – offensive language and horror.

***

Zombie holocaust extravaganza, World War Z, proves Hollywood is still a long way from delivering a definitive “double tap” on undead creepies – although it’s been a while since a zombie flick was this scary or beautifully put together.

Former UN investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) has given up life at the front line to be with his family, but when an outbreak of a new super virus sends the country into chaos, Jerry is forced to trade his unique skills for their safety.

Now in a battle against time to find the outbreak’s ground zero, Jerry must travel from Korea to Israel to Wales, evading the undead tide in the search for a cure.

Based on the book by Max Brooks, director Marc Forster’s (Quantum of Solace) take on the tale of an investigator putting the pieces together after humanity survives the zombie holocaust is altogether more cogent, suspenseful and – thank god – cinematic than the novel.

Like the unholy love child of British zombie masterpiece 28 Days Later, Contagion and The Walking Dead, WWZ lands us in the middle of the action, giving the unlikeliest of horror conceits – a tidal wave of the dead hungry for live flesh – a context that is uncomfortably realistic.

Sold by a stellar cast, the film’s pace is frenetic without being out of control, the characters expertly drawn and the chatter kept to a minimum.

And despite offering nothing new to the genre, it really works. Scenes in which major cities are overrun left me the most tense I have ever been in a cinema.

I’m reluctant to say this is the end of zombies at the movies.

It seems, like the subject matter, zombie films never die.


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