Nobody knows what they're talking about
I found the end of the movie deeply disturbing, and as some of you might be going to see it, I'll not give it away, but I will say that for a movie about the effects of a terrorist attack, it was decidedly more a Katrina movie than a 9/11 movie. Here's why: for all its 9/11 imagery (smoke over LA, toxic ash raining from the sky, cellphone networks overloaded with calls), it was about breakdown of information, more than anything. See, for most of the movie, there was a radio on in the background, giving constant updates on events "as they come to light." And so tiny bits of actual information are given, and of course speculation is taken for information, and everyone starts freaking out over what they perceive to be the situation.
Naturally, everyone looks to "the authorities" for some kind of guidance. It will become clear at some point that nobody knows what to make of anything. And so what can be "sensible advice from the authorities" at one point can become dead wrong as facts come to light. The question arises: if the authorities don't know what's going on any more than you or I, then what authority do they really have? My answer is always going to be "they have guns, and that's all the authority they need, once everything else breaks down," but that's the closet anarchist in me.
So the film becomes an appeal to be prepared. Not with bottled water, generators, and firearms, but in knowing how to think, and to analyze information, or the lack of it. What's "supposed" to save you can end up killing you, if you follow it without questioning the parts that don't fit together, that don't make sense. Knowing when to stop following directions when their source has no more credence than your own eyes.
I mentioned Hurricane Katrina. On the one side, it's "proceed in an orderly fashion, the authorities will arrive shortly," and on the other, it's Bush telling Mike Brown that he's "doing a heckuva job," and realizing that if you don't get yours and get the fuck out of town, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. It's "foraging" versus "looting," and the only difference being your frame of reference.
So that said, anyone with some firearms experience want to take a road trip with me to a gun show? I need a large-bore rifle, a telescopic sight, and at least a hundred rounds of ammunition. We're taking to the hills, and I'll be fucked sideways if Uncle Sam's going to stop me. We've put far too much faith in the infrastructure we've got, and it's time we made some of our own. It's like that Clash quote from "Guns of Brixton," from which I'll spare you.
(The rifle is for zombies.)