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Warm Bodies (2013)
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writers: Jonathan Levine, Isaac Marion
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, Cory Hardrict, Daniel Rindress-Kay, Vincent Leclerc, Clifford LeDuc-Vaillancourt, Billie Calmeau, Adam Driscoll, Chris Cavener, Jonathan Dubsky, Alec Bourgeois
Synopsis: After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and some language
He's still cold, but he's getting warmer...
"Warm Bodies" is a lot better than most people might think. Although many people might dismiss this film mainly because the same audience that loved "Twilight", they all flocked to see this movie as well. However, unlike "Twilight" that fails to live up to it's potential, "Warm Bodies" surprises us with a story that's not only original, but actually kind of enjoyable to watch.
Granted, it's a romantic comedy, so it's naturally going to be predictable in a lot of ways; while throwing plenty of goofy moments to generate some laughs. However, that doesn't mean "Warm Bodies" is a bad film by any means. After all, this is arguably one of the few movies that tries to combine romance, horror and comedy into itself, and I have to say the results are satisfying.
The film focuses on an unusual over analyzing zombie simply named R (Nicholas Hoult), who's been dead for quite sometime. Although he may seem like just another zombie at first, we soon find out that isn't the case. R has no recollection of his life before he became a zombie. Heck, he doesn't even remember what his name used to be, but he thinks his name began with an "R" once; hence why he goes by R.
R is often conflicted with his own existence, as a part of him yearns to be alive again, yet he knows the sad reality is that he must feast on humans to survive. In this post apocalyptic world, zombies travel in packs to hunt for food. Although R claims to be conflicted about eating other humans, he often craves human brains whenever he eats them. The reason is because it makes him feel human again, as the memories and feelings of the person's brain get transferred onto him. Imprinting on his mind the same thoughts and experiences that R's victim might have experienced in their lives.
This brings up a lot of questions though, when R finally meets Julie (Teresa Palmer). Julie is part of what looks to be the last human resistance group, within the USA; possibly the world, as it's never made clear if there are other human resistance groups out there. Periodically, the human resistance sends out a group of some of their young able bodied people to scavenge around zombie infested areas, in search for supplies; while the rest keep lookout behind the safety of a barricaded fortress.
One day, R ends up eating Julie's boyfriend, as he devours his brains; thus imprinted with the thoughts and emotions of whatever he felt before he died. As R devours this poor soul, he gets various memories of Julie, where she confesses her undying love towards her boyfriend. Needless to say, he falls madly in love with Julie the instance he sees her. In some ways, this brings up a lot of questions though.
Does R truly love Julie because of the whole notion of "love at first sight", or perhaps it could be a side effect of having her boyfriend's memories imprinted onto R's mind; hence making him feel the same emotions for her. Even though in reality, these feelings may not be entirely his own. Would R even love Julie if he had never eaten her boyfriend's brains to attain his memories and emotions? Or would they have fallen for each other anyway? Or maybe it's all one big coincidence? The film never really focuses on this aspect, but it's definitely interesting to think about.
In a lot of ways, it would've made for a deeper story had the film delved into this concept more, but in doing so, it would've eliminated the comedic aspects of this film; hence turning it from what was intended to be a light hearted romantic comedy, involving a zombie, into some sort of serious character study instead. Therefore, I guess we can't really complain too much about this, as the focus of the movie was on R's unlikely tale of love with a human.
To get back to the story, there's a lot of conflict at first, as Julie has trouble believing that a zombie would even bother sparing her life. Let alone love her. However, like all romantic comedies that involve two unlikely lovers, we all know that eventually they'll start to like each other...blah blah blah...
However, their unlikely relationship begins to spark a change in the other zombies; which could change both the lives of zombies and humans forever. And, that's all I can really say about the film without giving away too much.
The film may not be the best horror film out there, as it's too silly to be considered remotely scary. And as far as romantic comedies go, "Warm Bodies" is pretty much everything you'd expect it to be. Just a light hearted romantic comedy that features a predictable story arc, with a few stereotypical characters mixed in between.
Sure, the story does offer up some interestingly unique ideas that would've been interesting to see explored, but as I stated earlier, that isn't the movie's main focus. Having said that though, none of that means that "Warm Bodies" was a bad film. If anything, I found it rather enjoyable. Granted, like all romantic comedies, the film is predictable as hell, but it was still a lot of fun to watch.
The acting performances aren't really half bad, as I was surprised to see how well Nicholas Hoult was able to carry his character; given the fact that most of his lines consist of internal monologuing. Plus, it was kind of nice to see "Warm Bodies" pay homage to one of my favorite romantic comedies, "Say Anything", with one line in the film, but I won't spoil it for readers. And if you think I'm referring to the boombox scene, then you're dead wrong.
As for the cinematography, it was fairly decent for what you'd expect it to be; which is more than I could say for the visual effects of the bone zombies, as it left something to be desired.
In the end, if you're just looking for a romantic comedy that's a bit different than what you might be accustomed to, then "Warm Bodies" might be right up your alley. However, I wouldn't expect too much out of it, but for what the film happens to be, it's not a bad movie to watch. It's a helluva lot better than those "Twilight" films, as "Warm Bodies" is worth a rental whenever the DVD/Blue Ray are released, at two and a half out of four.