Tuesday, March 10, 2009

World War X

Genre: Sci-fi
Synopsis: In a post World War 2 New York City, a troubled reporter learns he is meant for a higher purpose.
About: Not much is known about this one. I know Trevorrow has had four movies produced so he's got a track record.
Writer: Colin Trevorrow

Colin Trevorrow is a good writer. But I think this story is bigger than him. In fact, I think it's bigger than 99% of the writers out there. It's Matrix meets Wanted meets Alice In Wonderland. It almost comes together. But World War X suffers from Feature Length-itus -- a disease that gives your movie only 2 hours to live. And there simply isn't enough time to deliver the depth that a premise like this promises.

Tom, a foster child, has spent his entire life feeling a rage inside him. Where it comes from, he doesn't know. After this troubled childhood and a stint in the war, Tom finds himself barely clinging to a reporter job at the local newspaper. While inspecting a series of strange murders, he encounters a man who seems to have superhuman abilities. Leaping and jumping 10-20 feet in the air. Tom follows him the best he can, surprising himself with his aiblity to keep up. But in the end, the mystery man is too fast, and gets away.

Later he's approached by a group of men who let him in on a secret. Tom is actually superhuman. A combination of both Wanted and Matrix, he posesses a hidden strength and speed that if he can learn to tap into, he'd be unstoppable. He joins this group, which calls itself "The Brotherhood". Their first mission involves stopping a bank robbery. Curiously, The Brotherhood seems to know exactly when this robbery is going to happen. They succeed, but instead of returning the money, The Brotherhood keeps it for themselves.

Tom is then approached by ANOTHER group who claims that the group he's been associating himself with is actually...now hang with me here...a group of "time terrorists". Even worse, their leader - a guy who obviously dug his name out of the sci-fi handbook - "Zael", has actually gone back thousands of years in time to impregnate his seed into hundreds of women - creating multiple generations of his bloodline. Tom is one of these children. He is one of "The Brotherhood."

This new team is an anti-time terrorist organization, sent back in time specifically to try and stop Zael and his "brothers". Or "sons" or whatever the hell they are. Tom then fnds himself stuck in the middle. Who does he believe? The Brotherhood? Or the TT Organization? Despite stumbling my way through that, Trevorrow actually sets all this up fairly well. We buy into the whole premise, even if it does border on the extreme.

I think Colin may have watched Star Wars a bit too many times though. There are so many echoes of it here it borders on plagirism. Tom and Zael have a sword fight at the end while a larger war rages on outside, all the while spouting out heated one-liners which mainly revolve around "evil" and "doing the right thing." I kept waiting for Zael to finally scream "I am your fatherrrrrr." But then I realized that would be redundant. He is his father. We already know that.

It's only because of this action-suffocated derivitave ending that I can't whole-heartedly recommend World War X. It has its moments, especially early on. But the last thing every audience member leaves a movie with is its ending, and World War X's simply isn't memorable enough.

[ ] trash
[ ] barely readable
[World War x] worth the read (barely)
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned from World War X: Within 10 pages, I know some distinct things about our main character. He's extremely violent and has a bad heart. Already, he's separated from most of the main characters I read. Even though neither of these things is wholly original, together, they paint a picture of a man that's distinct and that I feel like I know. Make sure your main character stands out.