Thursday, September 26, 2013

World War Z (movie review)

I judged this movie to be astoundingly good, because it really scared me.  The last time I remember being that scared (because of a movie -- life is plenty scary) was in Aliens.  Is it because I identify with the protagonists so completely?  They each do a good job (Signourney Weaver and Brad Pitt respectively).

I've been doing my homework in the zombies mythology, falling further behind with the vampires, which has also been undergoing strong development in these early years of this millennium.  When AMC's Walking Dead started showing for free at The Bagdad, I found a collection and watched several seasons.

The Bagdad, by the way, is about to undergo a transformation, shutting down for awhile as a theater (owned by a brewpub) to reopen as one equipped to show first run films.  I'm ambivalent as that means a jump in price and more people wanting parking (think of a way to come by bus or bike people -- no mega-mall parking lots, just sleepy neighborhoods).  I can see where it'd be fun to jump on that circuit though, as a brewpub.  I hope The Laurelhurst isn't planning to follow suit right away.

The film is scary and not very jokey except when you zoom back to appreciate the ironies:  the WHO, World Health Organization, frantically distributing dire sicknesses to children, that they might live.  I won't explain.  Brad has been hanging out with Angelina (who can blame him) and knows what that world of NGOs and UN people is like, mixed with NATO and all that stuff.

He and the other movie-makers paint with that fairly contemporary palette to make a globalized "good guy" and it's a refreshing divergence from the perpetual US / Hollywood rehash, where the "good guys" are always some Team America World Police (Man of Steel gets it right but that's a period piece, deliberately retro).

In this movie, the US prez is dead already, get over it, that's not even a big part of the plot.  When you've got humanity against misanthropists, you have an opportunity to bring us together.  Bring Israel back into the fold, why not?  They were winning against the undead until becoming over-exuberant, a known pitfall in Judaism (hubris, too sure God is on your side, the "loud Jew" meme).

That was another funny irony:  the Israelis were so close to encircling themselves with that stupid wall that just a few more bricks made it a done deal.  Most thought it was about the Palestinians but we meet the Mosssad mastermind who took rumors of the "undead" seriously and pushed the wall on that basis.

There's no evidence such a wall had any affect along the Mexican border though (Dallas and Mexico City were equally Zombie-lands).  The CIA is probably less vested in that technology for combating the spread of Zombie-ism (they say like Communism but you don't have to know how to read or raise your consciousness).  Some things only make sense in the Middle East.