Let me just say right from the get go, the Brad Pitt Zombie is great but Max Brook's book World War Z is better. I absolutely love the book, and I have read enough about the nightmares surrounding the film's production to be concerned with what was going to hit the big screen. Before seeing World War Z yesterday I told myself not to expect a literal translation of the book's story line - not even a little. With that bit of mental preparation behind me I was ready to be disappointed, but I wasn't at all. This film is not to be missed if you have even a passing interest in zombies.
I think you can easily compare this situation to The Walking Dead series. What started as a fantastic graphic novel and story was the inspiration for a truly entertaining TV show. They have strayed drastically from the original, and yet I cannot complain about the end result. Tim and I had the pleasure of interviewing Max Brooks about his book several years ago when it was released, and at that point he was already in a bidding war for the book's rights and expressing concern about what the Hollywood machine would do to his story. I distinctly remember discussing the idea of doing World War Z on HBO in a serial format, and at this point I don't see why that still couldn't happen. The movie and the book World War Z are just so completely different, and so it is a relief to think an option like that could possibly still exist.
I will go see this movie again. It is scary, intense, and full of twists and turns. I found myself sitting on the edge of my theater seat on more than one occasion. There is a lot of action in the film, all of which feels real and not over the top unbelievable which tends to happen in "blockbusters". There are of course special effects for the zombie hoards. Initially I was turned off by what I'd seen in the trailers - zombies scaling the great walls of Israel. It looked cheesy to me, but in the context of the movie it works. The zombies are rabid in nature - biting machines with a single objective of feeding, and so the massing wall of zombies is not so inconceivable. In the end this is the story of one family's experience in the zombie apocalypse. The book detailed numerous family and individual's stories, and that is the primary difference. The films ends in a voice over narrative that explains this is just the beginning, setting up the possibility of more films. I for one would like to see what happens next.