World War Z: The United Nations And Predictive Programming
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June 24, 2013
As summer heats up, so does the Hollywood box office. With so many remakes and sequels being made, it seems that no original plot can be written in Hollywood these days. World War Z is no exception; it is based on the zombie-apocalypse book of the same title by Max Brooks. And like most blockbuster “disaster movies”, World War Z offers viewers a tightly tailored agenda as to who they should look to for guidance and safety during disasters. This is typical of end-of-the-world entertainment and a key component of predictive programming, as we saw in Contagion, Children of Men, Outbreak, and many others. The World Health Organization (WHO), FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are typically glorified as saviors, even though local populations are often decimated or under strict control of local authoritarians.
World War Z capitalizes on a loosely defined “zombie outbreak” that is sweeping the planet at a ferocious speed with the main star, Brad Pitt, portraying a former United Nations investigator. Coupled with the United States Navy, the reluctant hero Pitt goes from retired house-husband to full-blown, globe-trotting diplomat within a few hours.
The film uses the zombie outbreak as a means to sensationalize the pandemic and ensuing global martial law; viewers begin to equate such tactics with worst-case scenarios, and if global catastrophe were to ever happen, the consumer-herd will go along with whatever authoritarian plan is demanded, like good little sheep, awaiting their heroes at the United Nations, FEMA, and the World Health Organization to save the day.
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