If you read my review of World War Z you know that the story makes sense but that there are some confusing things about it. A lot of that is due to large portions of the film being rewritten and reshot, including the entire third act.
Movies.com has posted a synopsis of the original ending which I feel would have been better, but it’s so freaking bleak I’m not surprised that it got changed.
Major spoilers to follow, so if you haven’t seen the movie and you want to see the movie maybe stop reading here.
So the plane that Gerry boards at the end of the second act was originally headed for Moscow, not Wales (which accounts for a changed line in the movie, too) and as soon as they land the sick and the elderly are shot and everyone else is drafted into the military and Gerry’s sat phone is confiscated. The film then would have cut to months later and Gerry leads a unit of zombie killers.
During a massive battle we get to see the Lobo (a weapon in the book) and Gerry eventually figures out that the cold is slowing the zombies down and gives them an edge. The real kicker though is what happens when Gerry finally gets his phone back and gets through to his wife.
Gerry reaches Karin. He explains to her that the cold is the way they’ll win battles, which does her no good because it just so happens she and the kids are in a refugee camp in the sweltering heat of the Everglades. They’re in the type of camp where you have to have something to trade to survive, and it just so happens the one thing Karin had to trade was herself. She doesn’t explicitly tell Gerry this, but after she hastily hangs up the phone we see that she’s in some kind of reluctantly consensual relationship with the soldier who rescued them from the rooftop at the beginning of the movie.
Did you happen to notice that soldier on the helicopter was played by Matthew Fox? Did you wonder why they bothered to cast someone as recognizable as him in a role that was pretty inconsequential and had almost no lines? That’s because his real payoff wasn’t until the end.
Fox’ parajumper soldier then calls Gerry back and explains to him that he should just stay wherever he is and start a new life like he and Karin have. Gerry refuses to accept this, though, and he embarks on a rage mission to get back to his wife and daughters. Trouble is the nearest port that won’t be frozen is thousands of miles away, so there’s a montage of Gerry, Simon and Segen crossing various terrain until they ultimately end up on a boat. They’re now off of the Oregon coast and they attack the American shore like it’s D-day. And that’s how the movie ends. Not with Gerry having discovered a cure, but with him storming across the United States of America to get Karin back.
Gerry then gets his ass to North America and the last scenes are him and his friends fighting their way through the horde on their way to his wife and kids.
Sheeeeeeiiiit Talk about bleak, but so much better. Sure, it’s a bit open ended but it only took a few days before a sequel was secured for the movie as is so i doubt it would have taken very long for the movie as it was originally and this ending leaves much more interesting areas to be explored than the “I made it home and we’re all a big happy family” ending that we got. then again, maybe audiences wouldn’t react that well to Karen prostituting herself while her husband literally has to walk around the world to get home to her.
What do you guys think??