Some warmth amid the bodies
Those desperate for a middling romantic comedy that might qualify for a “date night” should consider “Warm Bodies,” a zombie movie with a twist to go with its ‘Walking Dead’ charm.
There’s not quite enough entertaining material to make the film consistently compelling, and plenty of plot holes might disappoint those hoping for something smarter. But those who aren’t tired of the ubiquitous zombie theme (hopefully it’s run its course…well, there is that Brad Pitt movie coming up) will find “Warm Bodies” a comforting film during the typically chilly evenings of clearance bin movie release season.
Based on a novel by Isaac Marion, “Warm Bodies” finds an apocalyptic future—the only kind in the movies– where some type of virus has divided civilization into two factions: zombies who troll (slowly, naturally) the barren post-plague urban jungle, and a small band of surviving humans who have walled themselves in as a protection from the flesh eaters. Complicating matters is a further-devolved species called “bonies” that scares even the regular walking dead.
But wait, one of the young zombies who soon will be known simply as “R,” a self-reflecting, witty teenager (played with terrific expression by Nicholas Hoult), longs for his heart to beat again. He gets his chance upon seeing the beautiful Julie (Teresa Palmer). Though he’s just killed her boyfriend and eaten his brain—which gives him the ability to relive his victim’s memories, a decidedly odd meet cute for sure—the two connect. And for some reason, Julie doesn’t run away, even when given plenty of opportunities. Granted, the zombies here may walk slowly but they can run fast, so escaping them is a little trickier.
R and Julie’s time spent together is the highlight of the film, though one of R’s friends, “M” (Rob Corddry) is a hoot. The pace literally quickens when romantic feelings start causing the undead to slowly come to life again.
Love conquers all! Who knew?
We’re not exactly sure why John Malkovich (as Julie’s father and leader of the humans) is in this film, nor why when R stops eating human flesh he doesn’t die. Or… Lots of other things.
The point is, don’t think too hard. Just enjoy “Warm Bodies” for what it is—a welcome respite that compared to the high-body-count, ultra-violent films dominating theaters right now is positively life-after-death affirming.
Rated “PG-13” for zombie violence and some language.