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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Movie Review - Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies (2013)
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, and John Malkovich
Directed by Jonathan Levine

Romeo and Juliet with zombies is the overarching theme of Warm Bodies, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine's comedy about a United States that, in the near future, is overpopulated with zombies, forcing the remaining humans to live behind giant manmade walls in order to protect themselves.  Having stepped out of those walls one night in search of supplies, Julie (Teresa Palmer), her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco), and her best friend Nora (Annaleigh Tipton) have a run in with a pack of the walking dead, one of whom -- a teenage zombie named R (Nicholas Hault) -- kills Perry and eats his brain which gives R all of Perry's thoughts and immediately has him fall in love with Julie.  When another zombie tries to kill Julie, R whisks her away to safety where the two find themselves realizing that they're not so different after all despite what others may have them believe.

Warm Bodies starts off rather ingeniously.  Mostly through humorous voiceover, R tells us his feelings about his new life as a zombie -- something we don't usually ever bear witness to in zombie films.  Nicholas Hault does a nice job of comedically countering a vivacious voiceover with a catatonic physical state.  The juxtaposition creates more than a few laughs.  Unfortunately, after the initial set-up detailed above, the film sort of wallows in nothingness.  The love story aspect of Warm Bodies just isn't as creative as the concept of finding out what zombies are really thinking behind their empty, human-hunting eyes.  (This makes sense, I guess, seeing as how we've had umpteen adaptations of Romeo and Juliet grace the silver screen.)

Across the board, the acting is above the level we typically see in teenage love stories with Teresa Palmer and Analeigh Tipton making the most of their underwritten characters and Rob Corddry managing laughs as R's best zombie friend.  Unfortunately for everyone other than the character of R, I found myself not really caring about their story lines.  Perhaps it's because the R's voiceovers throughout the film endear him to us more than the other characters, but these other character's plights just didn't register with me.

That said, Warm Bodies is decent.  It certainly is much more grown-up than most teenage romances and the rather ingenious take of making us privy to a zombie's inner thoughts creates an incredibly amusing first act.  I just wish the remainder of the film could've lived up to the opening's promise.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+ 

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