Monday, April 01, 2013

Warm Bodies

Year: 2013
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob Corddry, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco

Plot: A zombie falls in love with a human girl, which sets off a chain of events that changes the world of the undead.

Review: You wouldn't be far off the mark if you thought that Warm Bodies is like the zombie version of Twilight, except this is a comedy and in some ways, more entertaining.

In this world, from the mind of Isaac Marion (who wrote the novel), there's been a zombie apocalypse, not unlike The Walking Dead TV series. Humans barricade themselves behind a huge wall while walking corpses scavenge for food. The story is told from a zombie's point of view, R. R narrates his thoughts as he walks aimlessly around the airport where he lives, pondering his fate and what his undead life is like on a daily basis. It's pretty much ho hum until he meets Julie, a young girl whom he takes home to protect her from the other zombies and grows to like her. But how do you connect with the living if you're dead?

Director Jonathan Levine successfully brings the audience into this world by not trying too hard to explain stuff and letting the plot flow gradually. He lets R show how human he can be despite being a zombie, like listening to music (mostly cool 80s tunes) and constantly thinking like a living person despite knowing he's dead. The plot has to lead to a bigger picture of course, which involves Julie's father being keen on believing the dead are a constant threat, while the Bonies, skeletal like zombies, begin becoming more hostile to both humans and zombies alike.

Nicholas Hoult does better here than in the recent Jack The Giant Slayer. As R, he doesn't get to say much (other than his narrations) beyond a few words at a time, at least till later when things start to change, but he remains a very likable lead and one you'd have no problem rooting for. Teresa Palmer also makes a likable love interest as Julie, sharing great rapport with Hoult. Malkovich doesn't get much to do here as Julie's dad unfortunately. Rob Corddry lends some solid support though as R's zombie friend M.

The film does suffer a little in the credibility aspect at times. It's quite apparent if you've seen zombie films, and how they differ from what you see here. Of course, the rules have to be different in order for Warm Bodies to be appreciated as a comedy, so you may have to watch this with a pinch of salt.

All in all, Warm Bodies is a fresh approach to the zombie genre. It's a bit simplistic by the time the film ends, but it's entertaining nonetheless. (3.5/5)

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