Brad Pitt Takes on the Zombie Virus

Drexel zombies via blogs.CDC.govMany thanks to my great high school interns Arkiea and Mercedes for writing this review and summary of World War Z.

Thoughts and Opinions

When I first heard about World War Z I thought “ugh, another zombie movie.” It was a movie that I did not want to see because honestly I hate zombie movies. Almost all zombie movies have the same plot where it’s people awakening from their grave to become a brain-eating zombie. Not that I’m against that, it’s just I did not want to sit through another movie that’s two hours long for eleven dollars just so I can predict the outcome. So, I decided to avoid World War Z at all costs, meaning that I stayed home on a Saturday night while my dad and sister went to the movies. Three hours later my sister returns home and she tries to persuade me to see the movie but because of my stubbornness and utter dislike for zombies, I tell her no. After months of listening to my sister rant about the movie, I finally decide it would be in our best interests if I saw the movie.

Despite all my attempts not to watch the movie, I found myself doing the exact opposite and I can say that I am quite surprised. I was very surprised because the movie started in Philadelphia but mostly because it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from a zombie movie. The movie was less about the zombies and more about the virus, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Throughout the movie a UN investigator tries to figure out the origin of the virus but in process of trying to find it he finds out that the virus has a weakness. He discovers that the virus needs a healthy host to survive and will not infect a sickly host. Just the idea that a virus could be that intelligent is amazing and completely mind blowing. However, realistically, I do not think a virus like this could exist unless it was manmade because never before have we seen a virus this intelligent to differentiate between a healthy host and a sick host. It usually affects everyone unless their immune system is damaged. Nonetheless, I would totally recommend this movie. It gives you something to think about. It also gives an insight to what it takes to make a vaccine and the potential dangers people put themselves in order to save the population. This movie definitely changes the way I think about zombies.

Summary of Movie

In the movie, zombies are seen to be the people who contracted a wild, wide-spreading virus. This virus becomes effective in about 12 seconds after a person is bitten. Brad Pitt’s character Gerry is the main character. His character has to protect his family from the virus: to do so he joins a group of soldiers and scientists to help find the origin of the virus. While he is out searching, he leaves his family on a safe ship that is docked in the middle of the ocean. Gerry boards a plane to South Korea in hopes of finding the origin. After a few encounters with zombies, a couple of soldiers were killed including a virologist who attempted to run back to board the plane but accidently slips. All the remaining soldiers assist Gerry and the pilot into a building. Later Gerry comes to the conclusion that no useful information can be found, but as he is leaving a former CIA agent who is being detained tells him to go to Israel if he wants answers. A week before the outbreak Israel builds giant walls around Jerusalem. Gerry flies to Jerusalem. He is then brought to Mossad agent Jurgen Warmbrunn; he explains that they had intercepted a message from the Indian army and they claimed to be fighting the rakshasa (zombies). As Gerry is being escorted to his plane to leave Israel, loud music has drawn the zombies and they breach the wall. Gerry’s plane is alerted and it leaves without him. The IDF try to assist him to a helicopter, but in the process a young IDF member is bitten. Gerry protects her from infection by amputating her arm just above where she is bitten. Gerry remembers seeing the zombies avoid attacking an elderly old man and a young boy who appears to have cancer. They manage to board a passenger jet to be taken to the closest WHO facility in Cardiff, Wales. However, before boarding the plane the pilots made the IDF soldier remove her guns so the other passengers won’t be alarmed. While aboard the plane, Gerry discovers that the woman’s name is Segen. During the flight a stewardess finds a zombie on the plane. The zombie infects everyone, except Gerry, Segen, and the pilots. In order to save himself and Segen, Gerry throws a bomb so the zombies can be sucked out of the plane. But this tactic also causes the plane to go down.

Gerry awakens to find himself injured and Segen gone. He tries to remove the piece of metal lodged in his side but is unable to. Then he unbuckles his seat beat and falls to the ground. He finds Segen and they walk to the WHO facility, where Gerry black outs. A few days later Gerry wakes up and must convince the WHO employees of his identity. He is also notified that his family had been moved from the safe ship for VIPs because authorities thought that he had died. Gerry then explains his theory about the zombies avoiding ill people to the scientists. They all agree that Gerry should test his idea by infecting himself with a pathogen, Unfortunately, the deadly but curable disease agents are located in a zombie-infested lab across the sky bridge. Gerry, Segen, and a fellow scientist volunteer to go. Gerry tells Segen and the scientist to remain very quiet because the zombies are attracted to sound. However, the scientist accidentally makes a loud sound and they get separated. Segen and the scientist are chased out by a mob of zombies while Gerry finds the lab. He enters the lab and gets trapped in it by a zombie, so his only option is to randomly pick a vial, infect himself, and hope that it won’t kill him. Luckily he picks one that works and walks right past the zombies, proving his theory.

When he got back to the main building he was treated and the WHO was able to create a vaccine using a hybridized meningitis strain with components of smallpox and H1N1 that camouflaged the population. It made the uninfected people unrecognizable to the zombies. With everyone who wasn’t infected being vaccinated against the virus, the zombies would slowly become dormant. The movie ends with Gerry reuniting with his family.

The verdict from Arkiea and Mercedes? See the movie!