Review: Warm Bodies

THE SETUP: A dead guy (Nicholas Hoult), to get the attention of a girl (Teresa Palmer), tries to be a better zombie. Her protective father (John Malkovich) is having none of it. Must be the brain-eating thing.

THE THOUGHTS:  Ok, let’s get the obvious comparisons out of the way…

1)    Pretty dead guy likes one-dimensional girl, Twilight? – Nope, this movie is far more interesting and better told.

2)    Funny stuff and zombies, Zombieland? – A little more in pace with this flick but that one had more interesting character development (aka Some)

3)    A boy and a girl from different worlds fall in love, Romeo and Juliet? – That’s about as close as you’re going to get, and it’s intentional. The lead guy is named “R” and the lead lady is a “Julie”. It’s on IMDB, look it up.

This movie is a great showcase for Nicholas Hoult, whether it’s watching him move and transform his body from the undead to…something else, or his hilarious voice-over as he’s trying to fight against his zombie urges. He nails it. Just listening to his inner monologue is half the fun of the movie. “Don’t be creepy.” “Say something human.” The kid has some challenges to overcome.

As far as story goes, the most interesting aspect is the director/writer Jonathan Levine‘s take on the tired zombie genre – an undead romantic comedy, or a RomZomCom (I didn’t come up with that). There’s not a lot of character development beyond the lead zombie, and even that “struggle” doesn’t come as a surprise or make you feel much. But it is fun to watch.

The rest of the cast don’t bring a heck of a lot beyond their stereotypes – static love interest, over-bearing father, generic CGI villains. And the villains…in a word, boring and not very immaginative. But you know what, I was fine with it since it was played for laughs, which thankfully this movie has a bit of, especially from the pretty great Rob Corddry as the “ZBFF” – Zombie Best Friend Forever. If the movie had been longer than the 97 minute running time, I probably would have wanted a bit more from everyone (Don’t worry purists, World War Z is coming).

WARM BODIES Rating:

3 stars – good movie, take a friend. Is it gory? No, it’s PG13. Is it scary? Not really. Is it cheesy? Strike three, it’s played pretty straight. Now the big question: Will I like it? It’s a well done, fun take on a horror genre that could use a little shaking up. Funny, well paced, and a great performance by Hoult. Yes, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Random Recommendations
Fido (2006) – “Where’s Timmy, boy?” “Where’s Timmy?” says a 50s style mom to her pet zombie. From that you might get the idea this is another kick at the zombie comedy can? You’d be right. Billy Connelly, Carrie Ann Moss and Henry Czerny share a story of domesticated undead…or are they?

 Review: Warm Bodies
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