Review: World War Z – The Art of the Film / Author: Titan Books / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
Against all the odds – and certainly contrary to all the poisonous pre-release word-of-mouth – Marc Forster’s World War Z is comfortably on target to become one of summer 2013’s box office big hitters to the extent that Paramount are already making noises about a sequel. Here comes the accompanying coffee table ‘behind-the-scenes’ number and whilst we couldn’t reasonably have expected a warts-and-all exposé of the film’s troubled history of reshoots and rewrites (Hollywood’s probably not quite ready for that sort of display of public candour), we might have hoped for something with a little more flesh on its zombie bones than this glorified script book punctuated by the occasional bland observation by Forster and his actors and animators.
It’s a lovingly illustrated book, to be fair, packed with powerful images from the film and its key actions sequences and it’ll help keep those moments alive in our memories until we can get our hands on the Blu-ray, but we surely deserved something a little more revealing in the accompanying box-out texts than Marc Forster’s “we crash over forty different cars” or actor Matthew Fox’s observation that “it’s a great script.” As the book wears on we get to see a few more storyboards and pieces of concept art of locations and sets from the scenes in Jerusalem and Wales and the final few pages offer up some exciting and seriously visceral concept images of grotesque, decaying, blood-crazed zombies which just makes the reader wish yet again that the film had given us the chance to see them in action in this detail rather than as an admittedly terrifying tide of ravenous flesh which does all its biting and flesh-rending off-screen for the sake of a 15 certificate. We also get a handful of images from the ‘green screen’ shooting which basically consist of a handful of actors standing against or hurling themselves around in front of green screens. Who knew?
It’s a sharp and attractive book but it’s really one to idly flick through rather than read from cover to cover unless you have a real yearning to plough through a fairly deathless script which isn’t exactly Tarantino-esque in its subtlety and literacy. Definitely not Z-rated, this probably just about deserves a C+.