“Warm Bodies” is your basic modern day re-telling of “Romeo and Juliet,” except in this case, Romeo happens to be a zombie.
The film follows the character “R,” played by Nicholas Hoult who starred in the 2011 film “X-Men First Class.” R is a zombie who knows his name started with the letter “r” but can’t remember anything after that. On the outside, R is just an average zombie slumping around an airport in an post-apocalyptic future. However, on the inside R is able to give a monologue of what’s going on and provides the movie a narration.
Eventually, through a chance encounter, R meets a survivalist named Julie, played by Teresa Palmer. She is with a group looking for supplies. This meeting happens to be love at first sight for R as the encounter restarts his heart. Because of this, R saves Julie and Julie begins to learn that R is slowly coming back to life.
With most zombie flicks, a very logical approach is usually taken with some kind of scientific virus usually in play. “Warm Bodies” goes in an opposite direction and goes with more of a fantasy story revolving around zombies. At the beginning, this is hard to get into. The movie was able to win me over as it went on, though.
One of the reasons for this is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. The film has a good amount of satire and cynicism that provide for some witty comedy. The comedy really helps the story move along. The plot and the premise are silly, but the movie knows that and it plays along. What comes out is a fun romantic horror comedy.
Nicholas Hoult did very well as the zombie R, being able to emote basically with just facial expressions on the outside and giving a humorous narration of what’s going on. Starring opposite of Hoult was Palmer, who surprisingly is also delivers a strong performance. Her character has some good chemistry with R, which is of course surprising since he is a zombie.
Rob Corddry also stars in the film as R’s friend and portrays the comic relief character and does a good job with it. He has some good jokes thrown in, and being an experienced comedian, Corddry’s delivery is great.
John Malkovich plays the role of Julie’s father. However, he is a bit under used here. I think his character could have been used more effectively.
The make-up effects in the film are commendable and the film doesn’t over use CG. There are also a few clever ideas that are new to the zombie genre that make the film a bit more interesting. The film was directed by Jonathan Levine, who helmed the 2011 film “50/50,” and he shows once again in this movie that he is capable of making a technically sound film.
There are some drawbacks that keep the film from being great. The beginning is rather slow and it takes some time to get into. The climax could have also been a little more dramatic too. Overall though, the film is still strong in many aspects and amazingly is able to pull off a very silly premise. High 3 out of 5.