World War Z
starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Fana Mokoena, Elyes Gabel, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido and David Morse
screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof
directed by Marc Forster
Based on the novel by Max Brooks, before I rented the DVD I was inclined not to think well of it because I thought the title was stupid. But it turned out really well. World War Z is a spreading zombie virus movie, a plague movie, and medical decimation of the human population movie, an apocalyptic end of civilization movie. “Z” is for zombie. I’m not a zombie fan, but World War Z was good and scary, with fast paced action.
The problem with most people is that they don’t think something can happen until it already has. It’s not stupidity or weakness. It’s just human nature.
Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations special investigator who quickly traverses the world in search of the origin of the virus or bacteria that is causing the pandemic. He’s looking for “Patient Zero,” the first reported case in the hope of knowing where the contagion originated will give valuable clues how to fight it. If this were an American movie rather than a British one then Gerry Lane would certainly have been a CIA agent, a Navy Seal, or a Green Beret.
Gerry doesn’t find Patient Zero, but his observations of zombie behavior lead him to prescient conclusions about how they behave and how healthy people can disguise themselves to avoid zombie attention.
Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better.
All of these apocalyptic movies try to describe the total breakdown of society as it slips to oblivion. Malnutrition, dirty water, no gas for the winter or transportation, no bullets to fight. No food. No electricity. No medicines. Governments declare martial law. People turn on each other. Finally there are no people, the great cities are turned to ruins with Nature quickly overgrowing the remains. It’s true, too, that civility and civilization are very thin veneers and its frightening to think how animalistic we can easily become if society breaks apart.
When we hear and think about martial law we usually think of those loser Third World countries. But many of us living Canadians can put ourselves and our country among the list of peoples who have experienced martial law. I remember the October Crisis of 1970 when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act (later amended by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney) in response to bombings, kidnappings and finally the murder of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte by the violent Quebec separatist group the FLQ. The War Measures Act did not affect rural Ontario, where I lived. It mostly affected the cities of Montreal and Ottawa where armed Canadian soldiers patrolled the streets and arrested hundreds without charge, but ….