'Warm Bodies' Movie Review
Let me start off this review by being very clear: I’m not a “Zombie Apocalypse” proponent, nor do I particularly understand the whole allure of the ‘Zombie genre’ movies. The idea of watching a bunch of unattractive mindless beings mill around sounds entirely too much like a visit to the DMV. But I have to admit, when I saw the previews for ‘Warm Bodies’, I felt hopeful that this might be a movie that could change my perception of the undead.
THE GOOD: Adapted to the screen from Isaac Marion’s book of the same title, ‘Warm Bodies’ is an extremely loosely translated version of’ Romeo & Juliet’, with---my apologies to Mr. Shakespeare--- WAY more clever and amusing dialogue. Our walking dead Romeo –‘R” for short (played by Nicholas Hoult) isn’t much for speaking, but we hear his internal dialogue as the movie begins, and it becomes clear that he may LOOK like a walking corpse, but there’s a lot more going on upstairs than it appears. He spends his days and nights wandering aimlessly as zombies do, with others who share his fate, and occasionally bumping into his ‘best friend’ whom he affectionately refers to as ‘M’ (Rob Corddry). And when I say ‘bumping into’, that’s not really a figure of speech.
Of course, you can’t have zombies without the inevitable need to feed on human flesh and brains, so it’s during one of these feeding frenzies that ‘R’ first spots Julie (Teresa Palmer) and realizes that he doesn’t want to snack on her brains as much as he wants to rescue her. To woo her. To take her back to his place and play a little ‘Guns N Roses’ for her. If you’re worried that this will be yet another nauseating portrayal of “handsome monster stares broodingly at helpless female”, rest easy. R’s longing for Julie is so awkward and hilarious that I never once rolled my eyes or felt like gagging. And it goes without saying that the two lovebirds have to have opposition to their weird romance, so that comes in the form of Julie’s father, General Grigio (John Malkovich), who is leading the still living survivors and takes pleasure in finishing off those who aren’t as fortunate.
THE BAD: This part of the review becomes a little subjective; for those who are die hard about their zombies being hideous creatures whose only desire is to dine on humans, the whole idea of a corpse having FEELINGS and actually being somewhat attractive may send you right over the edge. If you are one of these people, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this one, as well as any other movie that dares to deviate from the accepted zombie protocol. If, however, you aren’t hung up on your fictional monsters playing by the rules, you’ll enjoy knowing that there’s the possibility of finding love even after the end of the world arrives and you are considered a viable food source.
THE UGLY: I’ll admit that, with the exception of R, most the zombies in this film are decidedly NOT dating material, but then, we have an even bigger contender for the “yikes” award---and that would be ‘The Bonies”---zombies who have lost every bit of their humanity, and are now just creepy skeletal figures who move at a lightening pace, compared to the slow roll of their regular counterparts. Maybe it’s because they aren’t weighted down with all that burdensome flesh and decaying muscle tissue. But the clear winner for the ugly category is watching a zombie pop brain matter in his mouth like it’s cotton candy. I feel pretty certain that I spent more than just a few minutes being distracted by the thought of just how horrible a zombie’s breath must smell.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t a horror film with a little humor thrown in, but it’s actually a really quirky love story that just happens to be set in a horrific setting. If you take it too seriously, you might walk away disappointed. But if you’re open to a romantic farce, this one is witty, clever, and has a little fun at its own expense.
The Trophy Wife gives this movie 3 ½ trophies.
Warm Bodies has a running time of 97 minutes and is rated PG13 for some violence, gore, and profanity. (F word used once)