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The hot zone

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Plague movies and the search for a cure in the chaos By Sean Axmaker Special for MSN MoviesThe zombie film is essentially defined by inexplicable plague and no hope of a cure. It's just about survival, and frankly that's a losing battle when the world is quite literally overrun with undead eating machines infecting everyone they bite. "World War Z," the sprawling, big-budget adaptation of the Max Brooks fictional history of the coming plague, takes a different approach. It's about staunching the spread of the plague, searching for a cure and saving not just a few hardy survivors but the entire human race. Brad Pitt is the U.N. specialist searching for ground zero, the source of the plague, because the only hope for a cure is in the source. In the real world, the source of a contagious disease is essential to understanding the nature of the threat, before it has mutated through transmission, and to track its spread. In the movie world, such details lend a sense of urgency to the story and plenty of opportunities for dramatic obstacles and cinematic action. The globe-trotting Mr. Pitt might want to take notes on how some of these medical heroes fight plagues and pandemics in the center of the hot zone of outbreaks, and what kind of obstacles he may face in his medical adventure.
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