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Now Playing: ‘Warm Bodies’ Is To Die For!

‘Warm Bodies’ focuses more on undead romance than political or social issues, while having just enough blood and guts for genre fans. This zombie flick ranks with some of the best living dead films ever made. It’s fresh, original and has an amazing soundtrack. I have no doubt that this lovable zombie movie will make tons of money at the box office.

Director Jonathan Levine (‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’) stepped away from the horror genre in his recent efforts ‘The Wackness‘ and ‘50/50‘, but returns here to give us a coming of age story set in a dystopian world conceived by writer Isaac Marion, whose novel of the same name was published only a couple of year ago. I haven’t read the book yet, but if it’s anything like the film, I’m sure I’ll love it. This love story starts out in a near-future, post-apocalyptic landscape where most people are undead, and spend their time wandering around looking for still-living humans, in order to feed on their brains, guts and organs.

Among the millions of zombies is R (Nicholas Hoult). He goes by “R” because he can’t remember his name, which we learn as his thoughts narrate throughout the film. R also can’t remember anything about his former life before the big zombie apocalypse. On an afternoon when R and several other zombies look for humans, they stumble upon a group of survivors salvaging a pharmacy for medicine. During the attack, R is captivated by Julie (Teresa Palmer), who is very much alive and kills the zombie attackers. In an effort to dodge her bullets, R attacks Julie’s boyfriend, and brutally kills and eats him.

However, it’s love at first sight for R, who decides to spare Julie from being eaten. He escorts her to safety in an airplane at an airport that he has converted into a makeshift home complete with a collection of records and a record player that he operates. At first, Julie is very scared, as R only blankly stares at her and groans. But after a little while, she seems to notice that he’s different, and that he’s trying to communicate with her, even learning to slowly speak again.

This is where we find out why zombies eat people, especially their brains, which not only provide the undead a daily fill of vitamins, but also give them access to their victim’s memories, thus making the deadites feel a bit more human. However, Julie knows she can’t stay in the airplane with R forever. She must get back home to a section of the city that has been blocked off by giant 100-foot cement walls and is led by her widowed dad, Grigio (John Malkovich). As Julie starts to make her way back home, R realizes that he’s transforming into a human again and that there may be a cure for zombieism.

The story plays out perfectly with no lags in the script or characters. The movie also has quite a bit of comedy, not only from the teenage love story, but from one of R’s zombie friends, who is hilariously played by Rob Corddry. ‘Warm Bodies’ is completely aware of itself and how silly it can be, which makes this undead comedy shine above others.

Nicholas Hoult (who rose to fame as the kid in ‘About A Boy‘) does a fantastic job giving a charismatic performance under R’s zombie-like body language. Malkovich and Palmer also turn in solid work. The movie doesn’t have tons of gore. It tends to stray away from the blood-and-guts aspect to focus on the relationship, but it has bits of brains and blood here and there to please the gore fans.

With a killer soundtrack composed of artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Guns N Roses, older crowds will laugh and love the way music is used here. ‘Warm Bodies’ is a great addition to the zombie genre and stands out as a fresh love story with likable characters. As soon as I left the theater after watching this, I was already dying to see it again.

Rating: star Now Playing: Warm Bodies Is To Die For!star Now Playing: Warm Bodies Is To Die For!star Now Playing: Warm Bodies Is To Die For!star Now Playing: Warm Bodies Is To Die For!halfstar Now Playing: Warm Bodies Is To Die For!

5 comments

  1. If you mean Romeo, then yes, it is definitely similar to the Romeo and Juliet story line in a couple of aspects. And if you mean Romero as in George Romero, that would be a cool little tip of the hat.

  2. William Henley

    Saw it last night. It’s an okay movie – pretty much what I was expecting. It is like the “Twilight” of zombie movies. Nothing really deep, and while the story was original, it was predictable (mainly from the pretense of it being a preteen romance comedy – its kind of easy to guess what is going to happen).

    I also felt that my friend and I were the oldest people in the theater. It was all preteen and young-teenage girls (probably the oldest person in the theater, other than us, was 15).

    It was enjoyable, but I think I would have rather of seen Hansel and Gretel, but my friend was insistant on seeing a movie on the jumbo screen, and this weekend, it was Warm Bodies.

    If you are not a teenage girl looking for the latest young-adult romance movie, you may want to wait for this until it hits the dollar theaters or catch it at a matinee. This movie is worth paying about $4-$5 for, but my friend and I both felt that we overpaid a bit catching a prime-time showing with the big-screen upcharge.

    I think Bryan’s star rating of 4 1/2 stars is really generous. I would give it about 3, and is a movie that I can see them doing a Rifftrax of pretty soon after its home-video release.

  3. EM

    I think my reaction to this movie is between Luke’s and William’s, but closer to Luke’s. Unlike William, I did catch it at matinee price. I thought it was a lot of fun, and I‘m willing to see it again (I may see it with a buddy later this week—also at matinee.) It felt fairly fresh (I guess there’s a pun there struggling to get out), even if it wasn’t ingenious. I felt the film’s charm was the journey, not the destination. I’m a few years older than William, and in the theater I was practically the flower of youth; it seemed to me that the older-skewing audience was having a good time. The Twilight comparison is obvious but too facile; one difference is that I never bothered to see a Twilight movie. :)

    • William Henley

      Maybe its the fact that you caught it at a matinee that you had the older crowd. My experience is that in the matinees, you are eitehr going to have the retired crowd, or the stay-at-home parent with the under-5 kids.

      I have a weird work schedule, which allows me to be off Thursday-Saturday, so I usually catch the matinees, but if I go with my friend, he insists on going to the night movies, because he feels that going to a movie during the day wastes part of his day. In any case, this has been my experience – the matinees are the stay-at-home parents and the retirees, and the night (and late afternoons on weekends) tends to be everyone else.

      I think I should explain my Twilight reference just a bit – Think Twilight if Twilight had of been good, and had some comedy in it. That would be what Warm Bodies is.

      Warm Bodies is significantly better than what Twilight was. The comparisson was “similar idea”, not in reference that the movies were on par with each other.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like Warm Bodies, I felt it was a fun movie, and had a good time watching it. I just feel that 4 1/2 stars is generous – I feel that you pretty much put a fresh twist on an over-done (or rather, over-done in the past few years) genera.

      I am not sure if that makes sense. It sounds like I am being bipolar saying that it’s fresh while being the same.

      I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. I just feel that its closer to a 3 or 3 1/2 star movie. To me, something that is 4 stars or above would be something that blew me away, and I would hold up in some of the top movies made. I don’t feel that way.

      Now I am also not going to bash you guys though who really did like it. I disagree, but Bryan’s review was accurate, and he backed up his score pretty well, and I can see where he is coming from. I agree that it was a good movie. I disagree that it was THAT good, though.

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