My generation has moved on from shitty supernatural films – starring at you Twilight – which is why Warm Bodies is a refreshing take on the supernatural film genre. It’s not just a love story but a story of redemption for the human race. In a world desolate of compassion and humility, Warm Bodies reminds us that no matter the situation there is always room for a little heart.
The movie centers around a zombie named “R” (mainly because he can’t remember his full name, just that it started with that specific letter) – played by the up & comer Nicholas Hoult – who is a highly unusual zombie. R knows he’s unusual and he doesn’t really try to hide it. The apocalypse has hit and everywhere you look there is death and destruction, especially at the airport where R calls home. R goes out with a pack of other zombies to “eat” and in the process he ends up saving the human Julie (Teresa Palmer). It’s love at first sight for R, who gets to know Julie from eating her dead boyfriend’s brains. It’s an awesome plot detail that just adds to the fun factor. The more R falls for Julie the more human he becomes but here’s the thing, the most dead zombies – who are called “Bonies” – want R dead dead because he knows the secret of turning back to human. Hoult narrates the entire film on and off, and it’s a beautiful thing. Never before have we seen a zombie film quite like Warm Bodies. It’s a romantic comedy told from the zombie’s perspective.
At it’s core, Warm Bodies is a movie for teens but there’s enough action and comedy throughout the film that all ages should be entertained. The film’s supporting cast sports big names but they’re not really “supporting” characters. Rob Corddry plays R’s best zombie friend but the extent of their conversations (at first) are just grunts between the two of them. But as the zombies begin to feel emotion again and change back to human, Corddry’s character delivers some of the film’s best lines. One gripe I did have with the writing, and maybe this was explained in the book, but we’re never clued in on why Corddry’s character helps R in the first place. It’s a small gripe but it bugged me throughout the film. The film’s other big name, John Malkovich, plays Julie’s father “Grigio” who is also the leader of the human resistance (of course!). He’s a pretty wooden character and for Malkovich to play the character that wooden must have meant that the writing wasn’t very deep for Grigio in the first place.
The film struggles to find its footing for the first 20 to 30 minutes, but once R and Julie start interacting on a emotional level the film really takes off. The last hour of the film really flies by and it’s refreshing to see a film that can tell a love story this interesting in just an hour and thirty minutes.
Warm Bodies is a new take on a very old genre and it pulls off the story almost beautifully. The acting to start the film is pretty bad – starring at Dave Franco over here (seriously, not sure how he keeps getting deep parts in films – dude couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag), but other than that it’s a pretty solid affair across the board. If you’re looking for a light-hearted turn around film on the zombie genre, you really couldn’t do any better than Warm Bodies.