World War Z Plot Summary Revealed CAUTION SPOILERSPosted: June 21, 2013
SUMMARY PROVIDED BY: JOSH KOTLYAR
In My Humble Opinion: I’ll probably wait for this one to hit Blu-Ray. But…I do love me some spoilers so, ENJOY!!!
The film begins with a montage of normal world events, with talk shows, weather, cities, and interspersed moments of predator-prey interactions. There are some mentions of an epidemic, but they are few and far between. The focus then shifts to the home of Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife Karen (Mireille Enos). They have two children, Rachel and Connie. While having breakfast, on TV there’s a news broadcast about martial law being implemented in a region.
The focus shifts to heavy urban traffic in Philadelphia. The Lane family sits in the car while on the radio, there’s news about a rabies outbreak that has spread internationally. At the same time an unusually large amount of helicopters flies towards the center of the city and police motorcycles zoom past, one of which knocks a mirror off the family car. Gerry goes outside to see what happens, And as he’s about to get into his car enormous explosion rocks the center of the city. The police officer approached Gerry on his motorcycle and yells at him to get back into his car. The police officer is then run over by a garbage truck. The truck ploughs through the traffic, with the driver convulsing and making disturbing noises. The Lanes drive through the cleared path of cars, but their car is broadsided by an ambulance. As they get out of the car, the focus shifts to the running and panicking crowd, among whom stand several convulsing individuals who proceed to attack other people. A nearby motorist is attacked, and a 12-second countdown begins. He comes down with severe seizures, dies, and within 12 seconds gets up and attacks his car and its passengers. The Lanes narrowly escape in an abandoned RV and leave a burning, chaotic Philadelphia.
On a highway outside of the city, Gerry’s former UN colleague, Thierry (Fana Mokoena), calls him and tells him that they barely made it out of a burning New York City. Rachel begins to have an asthma attack, and the Lanes make it to a supermarket/pharmacy in Newark, New Jersey, where they find albuterol. The store is in chaos, and Karin is almost mugged, but Gerry scares the men off with a hunting rifle. The RV has been stolen, and the Lanes decide to stay in a nearby apartment complex until they are extracted by a helicopter that Thierry has sent for them. As they near the apartment building, a woman falls from an upper floor and begins convulsing; she is infected and turning. More undead show up, and the Lanes lock themselves into the apartment building and are taken in by a Hispanic family. An emergency broadcast is all that is heard on the radio. As dawn approaches, the Lanes leave for the helicopter. They are attacked, and Gerry’s gunshots attract a large horde of undead, who give chase and end up killing the Hispanic family. Gerry is almost bitten, but is saved by the Hispanic family’s surviving son, Tomas, who shoots the zombie. Gerry panics, as he has gotten blood in his mouth, and runs to the edge of the roof of the building and counts to 12, ready to jump if he turns. The helicopter arrives and the family barely gets on as the horde gets to the roof.
The Lanes end up on an US Navy ship 200 miles off the coast of New York, where a team of analysts and military personnel are analyzing the scope of the outbreak, with population loss climbing in the billions. A biologist, Dr. Fassbach, argues that the plague is a virus, whose origin must be found in order for a vaccine to be developed. The naval commander tells Gerry that, because of his expertise as a former UN investigator, he is to go with a team of Navy Seals to find the source of the outbreak. Reluctantly agreeing for the sake of his family’s staying on the ship, Gerry leaves, and gives Karin a satellite phone to contact him with. The task force, accompanied by Fassbach and Lane, arrive at a military camp in South Korea, where the word “zombie” was first used to describe the outbreak. They barely make it inside the complex (with Fassbach dying), and talk to the soldiers inside. Lane tells them that the US is in utter chaos. The soldiers take Gerry to a room of incinerated bodies, where they first saw the outbreak. The soldiers’ commander (James Badge Dale) tells Gerry of a soldier who was found foaming at the mouth and tied up. When a doctor analyzed the dormant body, he was bitten. The commander tells Gerry that the time to reanimation was 5-10 minutes, which makes Gerry realize that there is variation in the virus’ incubation period. They interview a captured CIA traitor (David Morse), caught for selling arms to North Korea, and he tells them that the entire population of the dictatorship had their teeth removed so that they couldn’t bite. He tells Gerry to go to Jerusalem, where leader Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken), has established a safe zone. The team leaves on bicycles to the plane, but Gerry’s phone rings, and attracts a swarm of zombies. They quickly refuel while battling, and the commander, having been bitten, sacrifices himself. Gerry, en route to Jerusalem, sees an atomic bomb being blown up in the distance.
In Jerusalem, Lane meets Warmbrunn, who explained that Israel, having heard about the outbreak from India, built a defensive barrier around Jerusalem. They have established a quarantine, and are letting uninfected civilians in. A group of people are in celebration, and when they begin praying over the microphone, thousands of undead on the other side of the wall begin to climb over and attack. Chaos erupts, and Gerry’s escort soldier, Segen (Daniella Kertesz), is bitten. Gerry immediately cuts off her hand, and counts to 12 for good measure. They escape on a jet liner as Jerusalem is destroyed by the undead.
On the plane, Gerry cleans and changes Segen’s wounds and bandages. The pilots say that they are headed for (Cardiff, Wales). A dog on board begins to suspiciously bark, and when the flight attendant sees what is happening and opens up a compartment, an undead, who got in, attacks her. Chaos erupts in coach class, and Gerry, along with the rest of the front of the plane, quietly blocks the passage with luggage. One of the undead hears them, and attacks, with the rest following. Gerry throws a grenade to the back of the plane, then straps himself and Segen in. The explosion creates a hole in the plane’s rear fuselage, and all the undead are sucked out. The plane violently crashes in Wales, with Gerry and Segen ending up as the only survivors. Gerry was impaled with debris during the crash, but survives. The duo make it to their destination: a (World Health Organization) lab in Wales.
Gerry wakes up after being strapped for three days, and after having his identity confirmed by phone by Thierry (who tells Gerry that his family was sent off the ship because the navy thought Gerry died in the crash), is released. The doctors at the WHO discuss what has happened, and Gerry makes an observation—the undead, in Jerusalem, bypassed people who were terminally ill “like a river around a rock,” because they wouldn’t attack unhealthy prey, because it wouldn’t effectively spread the virus. He volunteers to test a harmful, but curable pathogen on himself and stand next to a zombie to see if his “sick prey” idea works. The doctors tell him that the wing that the pathogens are stored in has been infected: a vaccinologist analyzing specimens stuck himself with a needle and turned; he then infected all of the scientists in the wing. The undead doctors are now dormant, and wander aimlessly with twitchy movements until they get a stimulus (noise, a human, etc.). Gerry, one of the doctors, and Segen, volunteer to quietly venture into the wing to retrieve the samples. Their silence fails, and they are chased. Segen and the doctor make it back to the main lab and barricade themselves, while Gerry makes it into the vault with the pathogens. Fearing that he will die, he tells the doctors, via writing on surveillance, to tell his wife and kids that he loves them. He injects himself with the pathogen (presumably a bacterial one), and after a short time, opens the door, and an undead enters. The undead analyzes Gerry, growling and snapping his teeth, but doesn’t attack. Gerry locks the undead in the vault and makes his way to the main lab. He stops at the food court and makes noise to attract the undead from the door in the lab. He walks towards the door, and the undead run past towards the noise, ignoring him due to his sickness. The doctors rejoice at the discovery and Gerry is treated with antibiotics to rid him of the infection that he has given himself. Gerry makes it to Nova Scotia, where his family is in a safe zone. They hug and reunite, and footage shows the development of a “vaccine” derived from deadly pathogens that would act as an anti-zombie camouflage for the troops battling the undead, and for civilians. The footage then shows offensives beginning; humanity now has hope, and Gerry ends the film by saying that “This isn’t the end; not even close.”