Spoiler Alert: Warm Bodies review
John Seiler/Sun Star Columnist
February 12, 2013
Young teen romance with supernatural creatures genre seems overplayed. During the previews for Warm Bodies, I saw three other trailers for films based on teen novels that felt like they were trying to take over the Twilight market Directed by 2010’s 50/50, Jonathan Levine, I was hopeful that
Warm Bodies would rise above the usual, but still was suspicious because of the book’s demographic. With reworking the tropes of those genres and a great direction, Warm Bodies rises above its competition. The film centers around a zombie named R played by Nicholas Hoult, who has no memory of his name or previous life. R wanders around contemplating the life As a zombie.While looking for food, R and his zombie friends run into a group and lay waste, but in the mayhem, R meets a girl named Julie and falls in love with her. Despite being afraid for her life, Julie warms up to her captor over time and better understands what zombies go through R starts regressing in his zombification.
This story comes off cheesy and sickeningly sweet, but
fits perfectly for a film like this. I think in any over director’s hands, Warm Bodies would have become an empty hulk trying to trick teens in to thinking it was the next Twilight, but Levine brings much needed life to the project. One of the cooler ideas of this film that I haven’t seen in most zombie fiction was adding an inner monologue. In past zombie fiction, you’d never go into the mind of a zombie, but R’s monologues throughout the film is funny how he talks about living day by day or rationalizes why he eats people. It may not seem that big, but I like whenever people try to change up a stale genre with new ideas. Warm Bodies also has a Shaun of the Dead vibe although it’s not as funny or a horrific as Shaun, Warm Bodies still offers a great cast.
With most Rom-Coms; the formula is all fairly standard so you know that everything works out for the best in the end. This is not only as standard as standard gets; the film is filled with insanely cheesy dialogue at times that I felt my eyes starting to roll out of my head. However , it all seems to work out in the end. Nicholas Hoult as R was goof at times that I surprisingly found myself rooting for and Julie played by Teresa Palmer was a fun love interest that seemed to be channeling Kristen Stewart in a tongue and cheek performance. The only actor I felt was sub-par was John Malkovich, who gave a phoned in performance as the father of Julie but every line he gave was emotionless. By far though, the best performance of the film was by Rob Corddry as R’s friend M as a great support to R as the story goes along giving out one liner on the side of hilarious to sad. Warm Bodies would not have I think been as good without Corddry’s contributions.
The soundtrack of the film is also pretty great and helps the emotional impact with well-known artists such as Bruce Springsteen to Indie acts like Feist and The Mynabirds.
Warm Bodies is a weird film and does so many things that should work. The story is cheesy, it hits you over the head with its analogies to Romeo and Juliet and the dialogue made me scoff at times. Some how, Warm Bodies walks this fine line and works I think in a successful way. It’s not the best zombie film ever made, but it’s not necessary trying to be so. It tries to be its own think and I like it for that. I would have never thought that this would be the first good film I would have seen in 2013, but it was.
Also, apologies for the zombie puns. I’ll lay those jokes to rest.