This is a few days late, but I went to an advanced screening of Warm Bodies and I’m totally giving it a huge stamp of approval.
I saw the trailer a couple times and was eager to see the film because it stars Nicholas Hoult (that dorky kid from About a Boy who should get a gold medal for beyond successfully making it through puberty… see A Single Man and X-Men: First Class) and is about zombies.
Though I was unaware this film is based off of a YA Novel (“Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion), it’s got YA written all over it… and I was okay with it with the exception of a 5 minute scene about ¾ of the way through the movie that completely mimics a famous scene from Romeo and Juliet. (Looking at the novel’s Wikipedia page, it says that the book makes allusions to Romeo and Juliet… well, the film definitely one-ups allusions and goes straight for “HEY LOOK – WE’RE DOING ROMEO AND JULIET NOW, OKAY?! COOL!” Plus… the characters names are R and Julie… and R’s bff’s name starts with an M. So…)
However, I thought this film was highly entertaining. It was funny (there were several laugh out loud moments – mostly care of Rob Corddry who play’s Hoult’s bff), charming (seriously, Nicholas Hoult made the most adorable and endearing zombie ever), and there was some decent action.
Without ruining the plot for you, there was an apocalypse and now are 3 sects of people (or former people)… there are people, zombies, and Bonies. Both zombies and Bonies are undead and must feed off of living people to survive, but Bonies are worse because they are too far gone to revert back to any sort of life-like being. People hunt and kill zombies and Bonies, but zombies stay away from Bonies if they can help it (as they are gross/scary and also feed off the same food source – i.e. competition).
Warm Bodies, like most (YA) movies, is a love story. So, when zombie R locks eyes on human Julie during a mini raid, you wonder to yourself how that’s going to work out. And you know what… it’s an engaging story that manages to keep your attention even though it’s completely chaste and somewhat cheesy. The plot really pushes how it’s the little things (meaningful glances, the feeling of someone’s hand sliding into your own, sharing stories and other personal aspects of your life with another person, etc…) that make separate people from Bonies. This film is about change and not counting others out because society said so.
Personally, I found this film more entertaining than Les Mis (yeah, I said it). Though it dragged in a couple spots, on a whole I was engaged the whole time and genuinely concerned with how R and Julie were going to make it out of their conundrum. I could overlook the pockets of silly plot and the epically cheesy Romeo and Juliet scene and appreciate the movie on a whole. It helped that I’m a huge fan of Hoult and that even though the lead actress (Teresa Palmer) looks like Kristen Stewart, she has a much wider range of facial expressions and emotions. Rob Corddry pretty much stole the movie, though, and John Malkovich was a welcome sight as Julie’s taskmaster of a father who was dead-set (no pun intended) on destroying the zombies – including Julie’s new friend R.
If you’re looking for a chuckle with your zombie flick, I highly recommend Warm Bodies. It’s definitely not Shaun of the Dead, but it’s a much cuter YA rom-com than something like… oh, I don’t know, those stupid Twilight movies*.
Warm Bodies. It’s a good Valentine’s Day movie… for reals.
*(I’ve seen 3 out of 5 Twilight movies, so I have earned the right to call them stupid since I sat through over half of them.)