Making the Grades
Zombies, those lurching creatures with the vacant stare, finally get to share the big screen with a Hollywood A-lister in World War Z. After taking a break from big action packed dramas, Brad Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who left his globe-trotting job in dangerous locations to be home with his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and two daughters (Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove).
However their peaceful life of pancake breakfasts is interrupted when a new plague begins spreading around the world, turning the human population into a mob of flesh-eating zombies. Plucked off the top of an apartment building, Gerry and his family are whisked away to a military ship in the middle of the ocean where the UN employee is given two options. He can either help locate the source of the plague or he and his family will be back on shore among the undead. Leaving his wife and kids in the belly of the aircraft carrier, he boards a plane and heads for South Korea with an eager young scientist (Elyes Gabel).
Zombie movies have become something of a plague themselves, infesting movie theaters everywhere with bloody-mouthed soulless creatures. Don’t expect less from World War Z. Filled with the requisite depictions of gruesome and disturbing scenes, this movie zeroes in on the almost instantaneous transition from human to zombie. After being bitten, a character has only seconds before he or she begins convulsing wildly. The skin shrinks. The eyes take on a white milky glaze. In less than a minute the victim joins the throng of the surging undead. The only intervention seems to be hacking off the offending limb immediately after it’s been chomped. Along with other depictions of bloody wounds and damaged human tissue, the frequent violent encounters between the humans and zombies also include shootings, stabbings, mutilation, gunfire and huge explosions.
Packed with improbable plot lines, questionable science and a disturbing solution to the zombie invasion, World War Z doesn’t wander far from what audiences will expect in this genre. However the film, which leaves itself wide open for a possible sequel, tries to massage a message into all the mayhem. But any political point about the use of chemical warfare, isolationism or ineffective government leadership is lost when these zombies initiate World War Z.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about World War Z.
How does science provide a solution in this film? What costs do medical subjects endure in the name of scientific advancement?
What sacrifices do military personnel, first responders and their families make in order to protect and serve?
How does Israel prepare for the zombie attack? Is it good to have someone who is willing to stand opposed to common thought? What can people do to prepare for a calamity (one more realistic than a zombie attack)?