All you need is love. That goes for zombies as well.
He doesn’t remember his name, but he knows it started with an R (Nicholas Hoult). R spends most of his time roaming around the local airport. R is a bit of a hoarder, collecting whatever he can as he tries to retain his past and who he used to be. R, like most young adults is nervous around the ladies, but more than anything else, desperately yearns to connect with someone. R also just happens to be a zombie, but the biggest thing that makes R a monster is his love for 80’s monster ballads, that and the fact he’ll eat your brain.
Based off Isaac Marion’s novel, in Warm Bodies, the world has gone to hell and zombies out number the band of human survivors that live behind a fortress. Zombies will devour the living any chance they get, but when R comes across the living Julie (Teresa Palmer), it’s love at first sight. His heart literally starts beating again. Events play out having R and Julie getting to know each other and weirdly enough, effectively make for a great love story.
I should have picked up on it right away with the blood orange victorian font used for the opening credit titles. It was only a matter of time before we got a zombie version of Romeo and Juliet. I liked Warm Bodies fresh take on the overused horror fad of late as Jonathan Levine was able to give the undead some heart, and not just for eating purposes.
The PG-13 rating keeps the film’s gore to a minimum, but Levine still gets some frights out of his horror/romance flick. A creation of what happens to zombies when they die, known as bonies, is an effective scare device.
Hoult, the little boy from About a Boy, is all grown up and great, succeeding with the difficult challenge of giving enough depth to a love-struck zombie character to be a film’s strong enough lead (narration definitely helps). I’m glad Levine cast Teresa Palmer, she made I am Number Four and Take Me Home Tonight more watchable than they should have been and, again, warms up the screen in Warm Bodies. I love the casting of Rob Corddry as a buddie zombie to R. This is by far Corddry’s most human performance, and its all the more impressive as a zombie.
On the flip side of the casting I feel like the great John Malkovich is greatly underused. As Julie’s not very understanding father Malkovich pops in here and there, but really isn’t given any of the clever dialogue or moments that the rest of the cast gets to enjoy.
Levine’s storytelling doesn’t earn every love song he plays over the two leads finding themselves in each other, and while very funny, it does miss some obvious moments (I know, then why don’t I write it).
A very funny and at times moving twist on the “zombie” genre. Warm Bodies should be a big hit with they horror guys and rom-com ladies.
Take a Drink: whenever R shrugs his shoulders.
Take a Drink: whenever an 80’s song plays.
Down a Shot: whenever brains are eaten.