World War Z is a post-apocalyptic dystopian movie about the outburst of rabies-like infection which turns healthy people into “zombies”. The movie starts off with Gerry and his happy family, living their normal life. Suddenly, the mood of the movie turns immediately from peace to chaos— cars started crashing, people swarming in every direction, and the police trying to get the situation under control.
Gerry and his family fled from the city, and tried to survive while he awaits for help. Turns out, Gerry used to be a UN investigator. He is being called back to help out with the UN’s research on this outburst. The UN Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni, tries his best to get Gerry and his family into the U.S. Navy base where they could be safe.
When at the U.S. Navy base, Gerry was coerced into joining the investigation team to find a cure for the disease. The rest of the movie showcases Gerry’s multiple missions in various countries, each time trying to survive zombie attacks. Ultimately, Gerry succeeds in finding a temporal cure.
I find that this movie focused a lot on zombie-human wars, providing minimal attention on themes. Nonetheless, there were a few themes.
The first one is government.
After Gerry and his family arrives the U.S Navy base, Thierry asks Gerry to join in the investigation. When Gerry refuses to go because of his family, Thierry says that him and his family would then have to be relocated at a refugee camp in mainland. This is because the U.S. Navy has a policy that any “unessential” group of people will be expelled from the ship and transferred to the mainland refugee camp. Gerry knows that the mainland refugee camp is not safe at all, and being at sea is his family’s safest bet for survival. Having convinced, Gerry agrees to Thierry’s offer.
I find that human’s individual rights is not a priority anymore under this dystopian setting. Gerry was basically threatened/forced to follow the the UN’s orders. And in the movie, Gerry was told “If you don’t go, there’s a lot of people waiting in line to take your spot”. It goes to show that in a dystopia setting, the individual is not seen as an individual anymore; the individual serves the community, and the government.
In fact, from this example, I find the theme of ethics come into play too. In the movie, When Gerry was thought to be dead, Gerry’s wife and 2 girls were escorted out of the navy ship and to the refugee camps almost immediately. While it sounds logical to do so, I argue that it is not entirely rational and definitely unethical. First off, they were not 100% sure that Gerry was dead, and secondly, if the family were already on the ship, why not just let them be there? At least for a couple of weeks while they could confirm that Gerry was actually dead. I thought the government was wasting more manpower, and posed more threat to themselves by having to deliver each and every “unessential” persons immediately to the dangerous mainland refugee camp every time an “essential” member was dead.
I find that the movie also displayed themes of science/technology vs. nature.
In the end, Gerry found a solution to the disease. He realized that the zombies only attacked healthy human beings, and when facing sick and old people, they ignore them and just walks away. So, Gerry decided to try a radical solution of injecting oneself with another deadly but curable disease. There was a quote in the movie that summarized how Gerry found out the solution, “Mother nature is like a serial killer, like every serial killer, she wants to get caught… she likes disguising her weaknesses as strengths.” The fact that Gerry was able to come up with this solution,shows that medical technology was advanced enough to overcome flaws of nature.