Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Warm Bodies ★★★

A Zom-Rom-Com 

Written by Matt Giles
Edited by Erin Accomando

It seems as though audiences cannot get enough zombie-action these days, between the countless sequels of the Living Dead films, and The Walking Dead TV series (which is based on yet another medium telling zombie stories, comic books). After a certain amount of time it can feel like if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Until, of course, a movie like Warm Bodies comes around to reignite your interest in the genre.

One could argue that the premise is the Twilight equivalent for the zombie-genre and to a degree, you would be right. But Warm Bodies, while certainly a romantic comedy, never takes itself too seriously; it knows it's ridiculous. That being said, there's room for some sentimentality, if you're looking for it, as well as a simple message about embracing people's differences instead of constantly fearing them. 

The film centers around a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult), who, by his own admission, is conflicted about eating people. He provides the narration for the film, explaining that he doesn't remember his former life, only that his name began with the letter R. He has a best friend named M (a surprisingly timid, but very funny Rob Corddry) whom he mostly just grunts and moans back and forth with, and spends most of his time living in an abandoned airplane listening to vinyl records. When he and his zombie brethren go out for a routine snack, he sees Julie (Teresa Palmer) and instantly falls in love. He abducts her and the two embark on a newfound friendship shortly thereafter. 

The more time R spends with Julie, the more he begins to change, eventually developing a heartbeat. The idea is that the zombie population is not just a group of human flesh-eaters, but actual people too. It's cheesy, yes, but also a lot of fun and a refreshing take on this tired genre. Hoult does a good job of delivering one-liners, both within the scene and in his narration, and is perfectly cast as the one zombie to give us a view of the world through his lens. Palmer, meanwhile, is fine but not all that memorable, and doesn't really do much except play the attractive blonde whom R has fallen for.

At times it feels like there may have been more of a movie - there's a minor subplot involving Julie's former boyfriend (Dave Franco) that never really resolves itself emotionally - but for the most part, Warm Bodies works as a fun zombie movie told from the zombie's perspective.

Warm Bodies will be released Friday, February 1st 2013

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