Okay, so everybody that knows much at all about this movie knows that it's based on a very amazing book of the same title, written by Max Brooks. Max Brooks also wrote another book, "The Zombie Survival Guide", which is also a very fun read, but I will not get into that in this journal, because that's not what this journal is about. Anywho, the movie adaptation was awesome, and I think that anybody with even a passing interest in zombies should watch it, and read the book (in no particular order). Be warned, though, if you're the type who has to have the movie be exactly like the book, because the movie is pretty much not like the book at all. You can definitely tell that the movie is based on the book, but the movie deviates greatly from it.
I'll do my best to explain, and then divulge why I think that that is a good thing. The book is written from the perspective of a person (this person's name just so happens to be Max Brooks, but I'll not get into that) who collected the stories of a bunch of people that survived a zombie apocalypse that nearly wiped out the entire population of Earth. The end result is an excellent conglomeration of all of those stories, that go in chronological order throughout the "war", going from "the beginning" to "the great panic" to "the lull" to the part where they start actively fighting back (I forget that part's name...). The movie, however, is focused on one main character who is caught totally unawares by the zombie invasion, and is employed by the military to help find a cure or weakness of "Zeke" (Zeke is a name given to the zombies, which is found in both the book and the movie, although it's more prominent in the movie.) Okay, so now is the part where I explain why I think the way that they changed it (this isn't the only way, but I'll get into much of the rest later) was a good idea. First of all, I think that it would be difficult to show the points of view of so many different people, as it does in the book, in the movie, without the movie either being really long or becoming really confusing. Second, having one main character really helps to keep the entire movie cohesive. Of course, they probably could have made it more like the book, having it be from many points of view, but that would probably have also been much more difficult to do.
Okay, here is where I share some other differences between the two, as well as some other stuff. Other stuff first. The two books written by Max Brooks follow the same idea of what a zombie is, and I think that they follow the same "story line", if that makes sense (it's probably better to say that they both come from the same "universe"), even though "The Zombie Survival Guide" is obviously a guide, and doesn't have a story line to speak of. Anywho, in the books, the zombies walk, and they take anywhere from about two hours, to two weeks to turn an infected person into a zombie (although I think the two weeks was just an extreme case, though, so it'd probably be better to say two hours to about two weeks.) In the movie, the zombies run, and a person who has been bitten can take as little as ten seconds to turn Zeke. Obviously, this is a huge change, and I'll not try to figure out why they made that change, except to possibly progress the movie faster, so that it didn't take three hours or more than one part. Another big change is the way they actually deal with the zombie outbreak and eventually defeat it, but I won't get into that, since I don't want to spoil the ending (and saying that they defeat it isn't spoiling it, because what good movie would actually end up ultimately defeating the main character? In other words, you should walk into the movie theater knowing that they would defeat the zombies in the end).
Anywho, even with all these changes, I still think that both books and the movie are absolutely awesome. Both get five stars out of five from me. I'll close this movie review by saying that I really think that everybody should see the movie and read the books.