Monday, February 4, 2013

Review 124: "Warm Bodies"

Wouldn't it be great if this movie is 
the ending to The Walking Dead?

None Dead

      The zombie genre is starting to become it's own monster. The genre has had so many stories that cover the same conventional ground that the entire genre has survived long past it's due date, thanks mostly in part to The Walking Dead. So at least Warm Bodies can be given points for originality. Sure, the idea of a zombie-human romance might seem a lot weird, but at least it's new and not a The Walking Dead clone. Based on a book by Issac Marion (Room Enough), the film is written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50). It follows zombie R (Nicholas Hoult, X-Men: First Class), who begins to fall in love with Human Julie (Teresa Palmer, I Am Number Four) after he eats her boyfriend's (Dave Franco, 21 Jump Street) brains. As he tries to protect her from his fellow zombies, R and Julie begin to fall in love. Which begins to cure both R and the other zombies, including R's friend M (Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine). In order to save the world, R, Julie, M and Julie's friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton, Crazy. Stupid. Love) must avoid Julie's leader father (John Malkovich, RED) and cure the zombies with the power of love.

Zombies just love photography.
Unironically in Love

      Warm Bodies could have been forgiven for being an all out parody of both the stale zombie genre and the romantically-challenged Twilight series, though it wouldn't have been nearly as good. However, what makes Warm Bodies stand out is how heartwarmingly sincere the whole damn thing is. The majority of the movie is based around building up R and Julie's relationship, which is especially important seeing as how the whole thing is so strange. The movie unironically presently the romance, pretty much saying "look, I know it sounds stupid, but here it is. Deal with it." And it actually works. A large thanks is due to Hoult's and Palmer's strong chemistry and acting, especially seeing as how R has to be both dead and expressive. R and Julie's romance might not be one of the great movie romances, but it is easy to get invested in it and even the classic romantic comedy cliches work a little bit better here than in most other films. 

The Zombie Comedy

      The first half of the movie is the main parody of the zombie genre, with live as a zombie shown less as a horror-fest and more as a boringly routine life. Levine makes good use out of R's usually hilarious internal monologues seeing as how zombies aren't exactly the most talkative creatures. As I said earlier, Hoult and Corddry are forced to be funny and dead and they both pull it off well, though most of the funniest lines are given to Corddry and Tipton. The film isn't exactly a laugh riot  though it is always entertaining and often gives some surprisingly strong laughs. The third act is the main action portion, with the human and zombies banding together to fight off the instinct-driving "Bonies" while Julie and R make there escape. The action is pretty weak and is never all that exciting or funny as the movie wants it to be. But it gets the job done.

Strange? What are you talking about?

The Warm Verdict

      Warm Bodies is the first honestly good film of 2013. Yes, the premise doesn't sound all that great and the film doesn't always make it as good as it could be. However, there is no denying that the core romance actually works. Palmer and Hoult give some great performance as does the supporting cast and director/writer Levine manages to add a good amount of originality and humor to the film as well. Even though the action isn't all that great and the story isn't perfect, Warm Bodies is still a very fun movie. Warm Bodies gets 5 stars out of 6. 


  1. Nice review Alex. Could have been edgier and pushed-buttons more, but hey, its kind, sweet, and romantic and I guess that’s all that matters.

    1. You know, I don't know. I think a harder edge might have made it might have lost some of the romance and comedy, which were the things that kept this from the stale zombie genre posterboy.