Warm Bodies: Wherefore Art Thou Zombieo?

Trailers are notorious for misrepresenting movies. Some of you may have a hard time remembering the last time you went to see a movie and walked away saying "Yeah, that's exactly what I thought it was."

With that in mind, the trailer for Warm Bodies had a tough job to accomplish. You really can't understand and appreciate the type of movie it is until you see it for yourself.

Which means that the only job the trailer really has to accomplish is intrigue the viewer enough to make them want to check it out out of curiosity.

And it definitely worked well that way for me.

But First, the story

The movie opens with a closeup of and voice-over narration by R (Nicholas Hoult). He's a walking corpse 'living' at a rundown airport with hundreds of other corpses. He doesn't remember his life before he died, but he's pretty sure his name started with an 'R'.

Don't get hung up on the fact that the voice-over narration is much more articulate than his monosyllabic grunting would indicate.

It's that kind of movie. Get over it.

Anyway, one day he and a bunch of compatriot corpses—including his 'friend' M (Rob Corddry)—comes across a group of humans who had been sent out of their walled-in haven to find necessary medical supplies. They attack and feast, and that's when R sees Julie (Teresa Palmer).

Something changes inside him and he realizes that he just has to protect her. He takes her 'home' and begs his mom to let him keep her.

"I promise I'll feed her and walk her and clean up after her. And she can sleep at the foot of my bed."

Okay, so I may have strayed a bit from the plot there, but that's as far as I'm going to explain.

Dot dot dot

The movie is based on the Isaac Marion novel and definitely comes across as a reaction and response to Twilight. It comes complete with a voice-over narration by a pale mindless zombie, only this time it's the male. But he does fall in love with a woman who is basically Kristen Stewart if she were a real human.

But from a more classical standpoint, I'd point out that there are serious parallels with Shakespeare. R(omeo) falls in love with Julie(t), has a friend M(ercutio), and has a run-in with her friend Perry(Paris) (Dave Franco). There's even a balcony scene.

Where it differs from Twilight most noticeably is in genre. Whereas Twilight is basically the prototypical paranormal romance, Warm Bodies constantly moves almost seamlessly from zombie movie to comedy, drama, rom-com, and action. And it frequently plays very easily as two or three of those genres at the same time.

Warm Bodies trailer

My biggest complaints with the movie are simple:

  • I'm not a big fan of zombie movies in general simply because I don't really enjoy the gore and such that typically accompanies them. In this one, there are about three moments where gore-o-phobes might be slightly tested, but it's still a PG-13 movie and if you can get past those, the rest is quite enjoyable.
  • There is one usage of the F word that I really feel wasn't necessary, but its use is actually very very funny.
  • This is a fairly criminal usage of John Malcovich as Julie's father, the leader of the human defenses. I can never complain about any usage of Mr. Malcovich, but he is very under-used here.

Overall, though, if you can simply accept that the movie is what it is, it's extremely funny and enjoyable.

But What Do You Think?

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Warm Bodies

For me, this one gets a 7 / 10. (It'd probably be rated higher, but it's such a unique and off-beat experience that it's really hard to judge fully.)

Warm Bodies is rated PG-13 for zombie and action violence, some language (including one very funny 'F yeah') and a little sensuality.

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