A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the World War Z novel, which I read in time to see the movie in theaters. I did see the movie a few days after finishing the book and wanted to compare the two. Before seeing it, I imagined it would be hard to adapt the book as was, since it wasn't really a standard plot format, but rather a series of fictional interviews. However, there was enough within those interviews to construct a story depicting the events. I think the movie did a fantastic job imagining those situations and a stunning job in bringing them to life on the screen.
The scenes where Philadelphia and Jerusalem fall are some of the most heart pounding action ever put to the film. The execution of the zombies, and the terror and panic they instill in others is so superbly captured, far better than what was described in the book. The novel continually stresses the way people are overrun by the hoards, it is the central aspect of the story's terror, and it is shown unbelievably well in the movie. And though it is done with CGI, it never looks like CGI, which is a rare gift.
Though my favorite part of the book, the analysis of the military action against the zombies, is absent from the movie, I thought the film did a clever job of creating a viable working solution to the plague. The other thing I loved about the movie was the pacing. Ignoring the current rules of cinema, the movie moved at breakneck speed for the first two thirds only to slow down dramatically for the last third. I've always been a fan of movies that follow this structure, A Clockwork Orange comes to mind. After initiating the audience in the chaos, throwing you into the mess, it slows down enough to allow you to digest the circumstances and be overwhelmed by the actuality of it. It was a long time after walking out the theater before I felt I'd left the world it created. One of the few instances where I think the movie might be slightly better than the book.