30 Day Book Challenge – Day 14

Almost halfway through the challenge now. Today it’s a book that was turned into a movie and completely desecrated. I originally thought this was going to be a tough one to answer because I’m pretty laid-back about adaptations and I don’t get up in arms like some people do. I tend to judge film adaptations of their merits as films. Of course sometimes they miss out things that I enjoy but overall I don’t really mind if an adaptation is bad because it doesn’t change my feelings about the original book.

There are a lot of comic book adaptations out there, but I’m not counting them because generally they pick out different parts of different storylines and use them to create the film (there are exceptions, like Watchmen, and some would say the movie desecrated that book but I love it). So I’m not counting any comic books here. The one I’ve chosen is World War Z.

I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was a unique look at a zombie apocalypse, and rather than be focused on an intimate area like most zombie stories, it took a global view and showed how different countries reacted and how the zombies were affected by different environments. I loved how the process unfolded and we got little snippets of the war. The characters were interesting and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. 

Then the movie happened.

I was actually looking forward to it. I knew that there would be changes from the book so I’m not even mad about that, the film was just a crushing disappointment. The central appeal of World War Z was to see the global catastrophe, and since the film had a giant budget I was looking forward to seeing zombies in exotic locations and scenarios that we’d never seen before. Most other zombie films are low budget affairs so they’re much more limited in scope, but finally this was a chance to escape the trappings of the budget and exploit Hollywood effects and location shoots to give us a global adventure. 

But no. The film was a little about that but it soon nosedived into a generic zombie film that didn’t do anything better than other zombie films with far more limited budgets have done. So while I expected there to be changes from the book I did hope that the film would stay true to the core concept, but it couldn’t even do that. 


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