World War Z (2013)

Former UN employee Gerry Lane, his wife Karin and their two daughters are in heavy Philadelphia traffic when the city is attacked by zombies. As chaos spreads, the Lanes escape to Newark, New Jersey and take refuge in an apartment, home to a couple with a young son, Tommy. UN Deputy Secretary-General Thierry Umutoni—an old friend of Gerry’s—sends a helicopter that extracts the Lanes and Tommy to a U.S. Navy vessel in the Atlantic where scientists and military personnel are analyzing the worldwide outbreaks. Dr. Andrew Fassbach posits that the plague is a virus, and that development of a vaccine depends on finding the origin. Gerry reluctantly agrees to help Fassbach find the outbreak’s source after it is made clear that he and his family will be removed from the ship if he does not.

Gerry and Fassbach fly to Camp Humphreys, a military base in South Korea, where they are attacked on arrival by zombies. Turning to re-enter the aircraft, Fassbach slips, falls and accidentally discharges his gun, killing himself. After being rescued by the base’s surviving personnel, led by Captain Speke, Gerry learns that the infection was introduced to the base by its doctor, who was ultimately incinerated by a soldier with a lame leg whom the infected ignored. A former CIA operative, imprisoned at the base, tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where he says a safe zone has been maintained by the Israeli Mossad since before the outbreak’s official acknowledgement. As Gerry and his team bike back to their aircraft, zombies attack, kill several soldiers and infect Captain Speke, who commits suicide to prevent himself from turning. Gerry and his pilot escape.

In Jerusalem, Gerry meets Mossad chief Jurgen Warmbrunn, who explains that months earlier, the Mossad had intercepted an Indian military message claiming that Indian troops were fighting the rakshasa, or the “undead”. Israel had thereupon quarantined Jerusalem, erecting huge walls around it. Just as Jurgen shows Gerry that Israel is allowing survivors to take refuge in the city, loud celebratory singing from refugees prompts zombies to scale the walls and attack. Jurgen orders some Israeli soldiers to escort Gerry back to his plane. On the way, Gerry notices zombies ignoring a sick old man and an emaciated boy. Soon after, one of Gerry’s escorts, a soldier who identifies herself only as “Segen”, is bitten on the hand, which Gerry quickly amputates to stop her turning. Gerry and Segen escape on a commercial airliner as Israel is overrun.

Gerry contacts Thierry, and the airliner is diverted to a World Health Organization (WHO) facility in Wales. When a stowaway zombie attacks in mid-air, Gerry uses a grenade to blow the infected out of the aircraft, but this also causes the plane to crash. Gerry is injured, but both he and Segen survive. They proceed to the WHO facility, where Gerry loses consciousness for three days, then explains to the remaining WHO staff a theory he has, based on the people he has seen the zombies ignore: the infected do not bite the seriously injured or terminally ill, since they would be unsuitable hosts for viral reproduction. He suggests that they test this by deliberately infecting somebody with one of the facility’s pathogens, but these are in a wing already overrun by zombies. Gerry, Segen and the lead WHO doctor go to get a pathogen, but are separated on the way; Gerry continues to the pathogen vault while Segen and the doctor return to the main building. A zombie corners Gerry inside the vault, prompting him to inject himself with a deadly, but treatable, virus and open the vault, thereby testing his theory. The zombie ignores him, as do those he encounters while returning to the main wing. Everybody rejoices at Gerry’s success, and he is successfully inoculated against the virus.

Gerry and his family are reunited in a safe zone at Freeport, Nova Scotia. A “vaccine”, derived from deadly pathogens, is developed and issued to troops battling the infected, acting as a kind of camouflage. The vaccine also helps survivors to reach quarantine zones. Human offensives begin against the zombies, and hope is restored. “This isn’t the end,” Gerry comments, “Not even close. Our war has just begun.”

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