If you are expecting Warm Bodies to be another bad romantic twist on a horror genre (sorry sparkly vampires), then you are sadly mistaken. Not only does Director Jonathan Levine (50/50) incorporate the romantic condition into zombies but does so seamlessly without destroying the mythos of zombies. The movie is comedy driven with a romantic twist that will surely appeal to teens and young adults but with enough gore to satiate the horror fans.
The story of Warm Bodies follows one zombie named “R” (Nicholas Hoult) as he refers to himself because he forgot his name. Now you may ask, if he is a zombie, how can he even know he had a name? The writers brilliantly let R narrate most of the movie from his thoughts. As much as we are exposed to the zombie genre, there has never been a definite answer to whether zombies can think, reason, or have any memory whatsoever. For the writers to utilize his thoughts to narrate the movie and drive most of the comedic elements of the film was perfect. Him falling in love with a living human, Julie (Teresa Palmer) turning this from a Zombieland-style comedy to a romantic tale sealed the deal for me. There are moments like him operating a vinyl record player to driving a car that might make you question the direction of the movie. But those moments are so ridiculous and heart warming at the same time that you can’t help but laugh at it. And if you catch it then good for you but pay attention cause there is a Shaun of the Dead reference in the movie that was brilliantly written in. The rest of the movie follows R and Julie as they build their relationship while avoiding the living and dead alike as they discover that the bond they have developed is what can ultimately end the apocalypse.
The writers were able to pull you in and believe that zombies can think, and selling the fact that they can fall in love as well was not too far-fetched. And if love can save them from their affliction, why not? Looking past the comedy and the romance, the director and writers were able to paint a picture of how humanity is today. We are all “zombies” in a sort of way, eating our fellow-man to get ahead forgetting what it really means to be human. That love, compassion, and kindness is what will really save us. It is a tale that has been told in many stories and films throughout time and to incorporate those themes into a popular genre such as zombies was none too brilliant.
Don’t go into this movie expecting the grittiness of The Walking Dead or the slapstick comedy of Shaun of the Dead but a completely different take on the genre that will have you walking away having more hope for the human race.
9 out of 11
About the movie:
Synopsis: After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Director: Jonathan Levine.
Produced: Summit Entertainment, Make Movies, Mandeville Films.
Starring: John, Malkovich, Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco.
Released: Feb 1st, 2013.