Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
for zombie violence and some language.
Reviewer: Kent Tentschert
Teenage zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) spends his afterlife wandering the airport he calls home, bumping into other zombies, avoiding the evil Bonies – and thinking.
When living forager Julie (Teresa Palmer) becomes trapped by zombies, R rescues her and they slowly begin to communicate.
Over the course of several days, they bond to form a tentative relationship. Yet, convincing the bloodthirsty ones that their bond is real will require much more than trust – and don’t forget the zombies!
“Warm Bodies” could have easily been the death knell of the zombie genre, harkening in the final chapter to what some call a fading fad. It’s not!
This well-plotted, charming and funny popcorn film doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet still holds plenty of tension and a bit of romance to animate the film’s pacing.
R isn’t quite dead; he is more unliving. Displaying traits of a modern teenager – shuffling around, empty stares, lots of shruggling, monosyllabic responses and disheveled attire – it is initially difficult to recognize him as a zombie. It’s when one notices the lack of texting and tweeting that his living status comes into question.
What prevents this smart film from becoming just another pale face in the crowd is its writing. For a story rife with staggering, stumbling characters, the story is well-paced and thoughtful, displaying both sides of the living and the dead. Zombies just want to be friends, barring the occasional feeding on living brains, in the hunt for their lost humanity. The living simply strive to keep their brains in their craniums and retain their humanity.
Based upon “Romeo and Juliet” this modern romance deftly drives home themes of “love conquering all” and “acceptance of those who are different.”
My 13-year-old accompanied me and seemed to revive within the first few moments of the film, keeping a smile and giggle close at hand. She is already planning on gathering her friends for a weekend jaunt to see this a second time.
As R progressively begins to exhibit more humanity, we find that we are rooting for both humans and zombies to “work it out” as they rally against their common enemy.
“Warm Bodies” perfectly heats up the romance and zombie genres to form an entertaining mix of humor, heart and horror.