345-Word Reviews: World War Z

World War ZNeither the calamity that its troubled production might have led you to expect, nor the triumph that its $250 million price-tag should lead you to demand, World War Zed offers a number of delights. This is a globalised disaster movie, told not from the perspective of bedraggled survivors who end up turning on each other in a desperate fight over dwindling supplies (the genre template laid down by Romero, and canonised most recently in The Walking Dead comics and TV series), but through the lens of a UN-led operation to find a solution to the zombie pandemic sweeping the planet. This omniscient overview sometimes dilutes what should be a terrifying vision of a world falling apart, because it gives an unwarranted sense of control over events, and the film plays out in a doggedly linear hop from one country to the next along a thread of tangential clues.

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2012’s Disaster Porn

When I find the time, I might post a response to uber-disaster movie, 2012. It might require me to confront head-on my unhealthy fascination with Roland Emmerich. I understand he’s making daft popcorn movies, but there’s something about his commitment to remaking the same film again and again, like he’s gradually honing his visions of the apocalypse into something bigger, makes him a lot more interesting than Michael Bay’s witless approach to blowing stuff up. If you remember the shot of Americans trying to scale the fences to escape into Mexico, you’ll know that Emmerich has a mischievous streak, which is present and correct in 2012 (except for an ending that is astonishingly nonchalant about the death of six billion people), but the trailer above, which came from Garrison Dean and io9, captures the tone of the film rather nicely. Not all amateur reworkings of movies are golden, but this funky 70s-style gem might say more than any 2000-word review I could come up with at this point. Enjoy….