Let me start by saying this isn’t necessarily a review of the movie, or the book…more like a rant. The movie, World War Z, is nothing like the book by Brooks. Some people have told me, “It had some of the same elements…,” but I’ve watched the movie recently, and I think it’s bullshit for anyone to believe that the movie had anything to do with the book, other than using the title to lure in zombie fans – which wasn’t necessary, but I will get to that later.
First, let me tell you all the things that are wrong with the movie. One: since Plan B Entertainment secured the film rights to the book, it means we will never get to see the movie that should have been made. Two: if you are one of those slackers that “watches the movie, instead of reading the book,” you have seriously fucked yourself out of an excellent piece of zombie literature. It’s not simply that World War Z is a collection of personal accounts of a zombie apocalypse, as well as reflections on the rebuilding efforts years later (not to mention the completely awesome structure of the book overall), but if you replaced the zombie detail with some other kind of epidemic, you would still have a fantastic book about humanity at its best and worst. Last, but not least: they could have easily made the book into a movie, using flashback techniques as they do in so many other movies. (By the way, there is a sequel to the movie in production – seriously, Paramount made an announcement about it.)
Do yourselves a favor: if you haven’t read the book yet, go buy it NOW. Buy the ORIGINAL book, NOT that shitty movie tie-in crap version. Then you will understand why so many zombiephiles are flipping out across the globe over the dissimilarities between the movie and the book. Do not read this book expecting it to be like the Zombie Survival Guide, or any other zombie novel – World War Z is written like a historical account documenting the human factor in a global war against the undead.
NOW…let’s get back to the movie itself. If you watch the movie, simply because it’s a zombie film, then you will not be disappointed. It’s a great zombie movie…it could have easily stood on its own, without using the title from Max Brooks’ book. I’m not going to launch into a review of the movie, but it was definitely engaging. And that should be the sole goal of any movie or book: entertaining the audience.
Whether you see the movie first, or read the book first, I recommend that you do both…just don’t expect them to have anything in common, other than a well-known title.