Yo, Is World War Z Anti-Semitic?

By Gabe Delahaye / June 27, 2013

I took myself to see World War Z on Monday. Do you ever do that? Just take yourself to see a movie? It’s great! You should definitely try it. And you might as well try it with World War Z because it’s much better than I expected! It is, as I told my friend Max yesterday, a “fun see.” (We then talked about having a movie review show called Fun See Or No See. So if you are a TV network, hit us up on FaceTime.) I’m not saying that World War Z is perfect, because no one is saying that, because it’s not perfect. For example: after spending 100 billion dollars on it, and hiring 17 different screenwriters, and shooting multiple endings, the fact remains that one of the main characters is named Terry and one of the main characters is named Gerry. Ha ha. Ha ha, World War Z. Whoops! Also I think it is crazy that the movie is two hours long and not a single character says “World War Zeez nuts.” Big mistake. If they had, then the movie would be perfect. But like I said, it’s a fun see! The big action sequences are very big and crazy and dramatic and exciting and scary, and even the notorious ending that they rewrote and reshot at the 111111th hour, which would suggest a disaster of a movie, because usually the ending is the thing you’re building up to the whole time, even that was totally passable. Just a fun see all around.

Except for this one part. There is this one part in the movie that I have been thinking about since I saw it. It’s the part where World War Z is anti-semitic.

So, OK, in World War Z, Brad Pitt is making pancakes and no one even puts their dishes in the sink because it is a simpler time, before the zombie outbreak. (After the zombie outbreak, people will be even less concerned about dishes, though. So whatever.) There are reports on the news that there is a zombie outbreak, but no one is too worried about it, until 10 minutes later when the zombie outbreak hits downtown Philadelphia. (It is never clear why zombies are already on the news but there’s also no real concern about the zombies. Like, you’re watching the news. Get worried. Also later in the movie, when Brad Pitt discovers a way to fight the zombies, they show another news report that is explaining to people how to protect themselves, and it includes a lot of b-roll footage of medicine in a medicine factory, which is VERY funny to me. Like, billions of people die but it is still important to collect b-roll footage and edit it into our emergency news broadcasts to keep things visually stimulating.) ANYWAY, it turns out that Brad Pitt used to be an investigator for the UN Security Council, whatever that means, and now they want him to investigate the zombie virus. This adventure eventually takes him to South Korea, Israel, and Wales. It’s the Israel part that I want to talk about.

The actual Israel part is fine. It’s the part where all the zombies make a big zombie pile to scale that wall. You’ve seen that part. It’s a good part! Very scary part! There’s a real Argo moment, too, when Brad Pitt finally gets onto the commercial airline and the zombies are chasing him down the runway and it’s like, will they get out of Israel in time or will the zombies capture and interrogate them?! But OK: before that part. Before that part Brad Pitt is in South Korea, right? And he’s gathering intel at this army base. The soldiers are pretty helpful, but then this raving lunatic in a jail cell starts muttering something. The soldiers tell Brad Pitt to ignore this idiot, even though a) the idiot will prove to have incredibly valuable information that will lead Brad Pitt to the next exciting chapter of his adventure, and b) this makes the character very problematic because either he is a stupid raving lunatic OR he has some much-needed information, but they never explain where he got his information when he has ostensibly been in jail the whole time, and also why he is in jail in South Korea anyways. I hate this character. He is too confusing. Also: he is anti-semitic.

You see, this guy, the jail guy, starts going on and on about how Jerusalem is the only city to survive the Apocalypse because someone warned Israel and they built a wall around the city before the attack even started. Uhhhhhhhhhh. Guys? Guys? This movie is make believe, right? Which means that we can do anything that we want. So do we really need to casually invoke this?

Resolved question. LOL.

I’m just saying: be careful? Once Brad Pitt goes to Israel, he meets someone who kind of explains why the Jews are so cautious, or whatever, and there is a beautiful Israeli soldier who becomes one of the heroes of the movie. And yet. AND YET!

Incidentally, my friend Andrew read the book last weekend so that he wouldn’t have to see the movie? Which I told him makes no sense because it’s a much bigger time investment. And he didn’t like the book, and he never cared about the movie anyways. Sometimes I don’t totally understand how my friend Andrew’s brain works BUT SO Andrew read the book and he said that in the book, the way they beat the zombies is that Brad Pitt goes to South Africa and meets an apartheid-era general who had mapped out a plan for exterminating all of the black people if they ever tried to rise up, and Brad Pitt uses this plan to defeat the zombies!!!!!!!!!! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I have not read the book, so maybe I am getting things mixed up, and boy I sure hope so. Please tell me I’m all mixed up about that because HOLY MOLY.

Anyway: World War Z is pretty fun except for the part where it claims that the Jews were told to stay home on Zombie/11. #FunSee