REVIEW: WARM BODIES
SYNOPSIS: A funny new twist on a classic love story, WARM BODIES is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.
REVIEW: Director Jonathan Levine (Love Bytes, 2005) makes the odd leap of stirring the Zombie genre with the Romance genre and Comedy genre. Now try rapping your mind around that mash-up! Well, in all respects it seems like he pulls it off with this eclectic combination of movie elements. Most of us are familiar with the idea that Zombies have been invading movies and televisions for decades, but few if any of those films or shows, has examined what it is like to be inside the hearts and minds of the undead. This premise is precisely the reason why Warm Bodies has relevance and offers a fresh take on the genre.
Fascinatingly, this latest Levine endeavor signifies that Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, 2011) has what it takes to carry a film on his shoulders, providing just the right balance of charisma and comedy under all of that zombie makeup. It's really amazing how much emotion comes from his character despite his being a zombie/undead. What his character lacks in verbal communication he makes up for in witty internal monologue, sharing the trials and tribulations of his reality. His ability to convey emotion and communication is his superb iteration of the zombie character and is really what prevents the story from being too generic and too cheesy and simply allows this slightly silly story to work.
The supporting cast is also very solid: Teresa Palmer (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 in November 2012) plays Julie, the butt-kicking love interest and second half of the stranger-than-fiction love-birds duo. Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love, 2011) brings laughs as Julie's best friend and the voice of reason. Also a great performance comes from Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine 2010), who even in emotionless-zombie form, manages to pull off some of the funniest lines in the movie. Lastly but certainly not least the unmistakable John Malkovich, who plays the leader of the survivors and father to the Julie character.
Certainly, this flick brings no great revelations; however, there are plenty of moments that resonate with anyone who's had a first love. If one can simply put aside any or all preoccupations with the silliness of listening to essentially dead corpses walking and narrating the movie, then I think one will find this flick as a light-hearted take on life, death and romance in a weird sorta’ way. Essentially, what unfolds is a tender love story that, believe it or not, is also entirely relatable, by most.
Nevertheless between the love story and the one-liners, there's still a healthy dose of gore and a gun-toting, zombie-hunting party, led by Malkovich’s character and because of such awesome performances, creative storytelling and great casting, I think this is a cool date-night movie and is worth the theater viewing. It certainly deserves four stars (out of five) for cool, creative mixtures of gore, comedy and romance.
By Movi-Man Stan
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