Warning: This blog post contains spoilers. Please don’t read it unless you
b) don’t intend to ever see the movie World War Z, or
c) have been eaten by zombies and just don’t care anymore.
I love a good disaster flick. I kind of enjoy even the really stupid ones, as my plot requirements for disaster movies are waifishly thin.
So imagine my surprise when the new blockbuster World War Z turned out not only to be intelligent but almost downright theological — unlike this summer’s Man of Steel movie, which was so overtly theological that what were meant to be subtle overtones nearly knocked me unconscious.
The big spoiler is this: when zombies are taking over the world at an alarming rate and only Brad Pitt stands between us and disaster, he hypothesizes that the way to protect ourselves from zombies is, counterintuitively, to make ourselves weaker. He observes the zombies avoiding a couple of people who don’t fight back, people who seem vulnerable, including an old man and a child. Like many feral creatures, the zombies have a protective mechanism of not attacking or biting creatures whose (blood / guts /absolutely delicious brains) could make them sick.
From there Pitt’s character extrapolates that if he can infect the living with deadly illnesses for a short time, the marauding zombies might just pass them by.
It is a surprising message in any action movie that what wins the day are not the best gadgets or the deadliest weapons, but a fragile vulnerability.
Weakness becomes strength. Actively choosing weakness — especially when every cell of your body is screaming to cling to power instead — leads to life.
Huh. That sounds a whole lot like Jesus.