The thing that really took me by surprise about World War Z was its global scope. I'm used to zombie movies taking place in a single city, or - at best - a solitary country.
We hear that the infestation is world-wide solely because television clips tell us so. And the footage is generally swamped in international landmarks to highlight the global nature.
But not with World War Z. Gerry spends a great deal of the movie boarding planes to travel to another country. We see what's going on there, and it isn't always in the capital cities. There was something utterly thrilling about this, particularly because you didn't know where he would end up next.
It's all well and good zombie infestations occurring miles away, in another country or the capital of your own nation. But when there's a strong possibility that Gerry could land in your back-yard, the perceived safety of distance has gone. You could be next. The zombies could be here!
By all accounts, the international reach of World War Z could have been even greater. Scenes were shot depicting Russia, but cut after unfavorable feedback from test audiences. A plot-line involving China was changed, when Chinese censors indicated that it would cause the movie to not be shown in their country.
I just loved how, through sheer location alone, I couldn't predict exactly what was going to happen next. The broader story maybe, but not the next scene. It's rare that a zombie movie - so entrenched in its own norms - can do that. This one certainly took me by surprise to the point where I once had a double-take. Had I really heard THAT destination correctly? Oh... dear...