Monday, July 22, 2013

Movie vs. Book - World War Z

Since my most popular post (by a long shot) is my Silver Linings Playbook Movie vs. Book review, let's try another one.  Normally, I try to read a book before the movie comes out, but the waiting list at the library for World War Z was ridiculous, and John and I wanted to see the movie when it came out, so I flipped the order this time.  Honestly, I think it worked out in my favor.

Verdict:  I thought the movie was just okay.  Nothing too exciting.  I thought the book was great.  If the order was flipped, I think I would have been very disappointed in the movie. 

In this situation, I honestly have no idea how the movie was remotely based on the book.  Yes, it's about zombies.  And there was one paragraph from the book that was worked into the movie, but otherwise, nothing was the same at all.  Again (I feel like I have to defend myself), I understand that the script has to be changed to work in the movie format, but in this case, I think Brad Pitt should have just made a zombie movie and called it something else.  It feels like false advertising to say it was based on the book.

Movie review - I enjoyed the movie.  I'm not a big fan of movies that are just scary for the sake of being scary, so I appreciated the investigative nature of the plot.  Brad Pitt was fine (and I don't mean "he's so fine!" I mean "average action star").  I got annoyed with his wife and daughters, especially compared to the boy they pick up along the way.  (Spoiler: That kid just saw his parents attacked and turned into zombies who then tried to eat him.  Why is he more emotionally stable than the girls who barely had any interaction with the zombies??)

The zombies themselves were fast, which was pretty freaky, but I was not impressed with all the CGI scenes.  Climbing/Swarming zombies looked cool in the previews, but I got bored with them in the movie.  Plus if they were that fast and agile, I doubt anyone would have survived.

My favorite part was when they were in Jerusalem, which I later learned is basically the only similarity from the book.  

The ending was also sort of anti-climactic.  I thought the premise was cool (that zombies won't attack terminally ill people), but that last scene was so long and drawn out.  And then the movie was just over.  Setting up for a sequel?  Perhaps.  I don't think I would pay to see it, unless it is actually based on the book.

Book Review - after the movie, I wasn't as excited about the book, but some friends assured me they were nothing alike, and I decided to give the book a chance.  So glad I did!  As I said at first, it is nothing like the movie.  Instead of having one main character, it is a series of interviews with various people who experienced different situations throughout the zombie war.  Since it is all in the past tense, there weren't any parts where I was actually scared as I read (which is good, because I don't really like being scared).  I thought it was fascinating how he jumped around to different countries and showed how everyone handled the situation.  The author leaves just enough unsaid in the story and gives the reader credit to figure out what is happening.  It also seemed pretty realistic as far as what might happen if a zombie-type situation occurred.  The resolution wasn't all resolved, which seems likely given the way everything ended up.

In conclusion, I think I liked the movie more than I would have if I'd read the book first.  Now I want someone to make a movie that is actually based on the book - faux documentary style.  That could be really cool.

Have you read the book or seen the movie?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!           



  1. I haven't read the book or watched the movie. Movies always disappoint me after reading the book. I heard the reviews of the movie were awful and after reading your book review, I may just give the book a chance. Plus, Brad Pitt is a pretty horrible actor too in my opinion. Am I the only one who thinks that?

  2. I have the book, but haven't read it all. Well technically I started reading it, then my sister "borrowed" it and I haven't seen it since (and this was like 3 years ago). I didn't see the movie but my friend has a movie review blog and she agreed that the movie is hardly based on the book.

  3. I'm definitely going to read the book now, and not bother with the movie - thanks! It is so often the way - I wish they could make movies that really capture books properly, but they always seem to get... diluted, somehow.


  4. I read WWZ YEARS ago (it was my first e-book on my (then) new nook) and LOVED it. When I found out they were making a movie of it I was like HOOOOOW?! I still haven't seen the movie, and probably won't after this review (although I might, still, just to mock it and its inability to live up to the amazingness that was the book). Book versions for the win!

  5. I have the book (Kevin is a HUGE zombie fan) but haven't read it, and I think we're going to rent the movie when it comes out on Redbox. I'm glad to read your review! I'll read the book after I see the movie :)