I had been looking forward to Warm Bodies for a while now because it sounded wholly unique: a zombie/human love story, where eventually love causes the zombie to become human again. Luckily, Warm Bodies did not disappoint, though it was definitely like a typical “BRAINS! BRAINSSS!” zombie movie in some ways as well.
R (Nicholas Hoult) lives with other zombies at what used to be the airport. He’s made a home for himself in an abandoned plane, where he keeps the knickknacks he has collected, some of which are an old record player and classic records. His best friend is M (Rob Corddry), and on a good day, they’re able to say one or two words to each other. R, M, and some of the other zombies get hungry one day and venture out, where they find Julie (Teresa Palmer) and her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and their friends. Once they start fighting the zombies, R isn’t sure if he wants to eat them, but when Perry smacks him, he gets provoked, and starts eating him, especially “the best part” – his brain – which contains his human memories; these make R feel more human, like he used to be. Most of his memories involve Julie, and after R looks up and sees her, he feels the urge to protect her rather than eat her. He kidnaps Julie and brings her back to his plane, and eventually she learns that R isn’t like the other zombies; he actually has a conscience.
I later realized that Warm Bodies is actually a lot like Warm Bodies. The two main characters are R and Julie, and they’re from two different worlds. There’s a scene where R comes into the “human living area” of the city to find Julie, and he’s talking to her while she’s up on a balcony. Her father (John Malkovich), one of the military leaders, DEFINITELY doesn’t want Julie to date a “corpse,” as he calls the zombie, even when she demonstrates to him that R is getting better at talking. I thought this was a clever way to play this movie, although I would have liked a lot more info on the back story and how the zombies first started; all we get is that there was a sickness going on and once it started, people started to infect each other.
Yes, see this movie, but if you can’t handle some gore, then be aware there’s some flesh-eating, mostly in the beginning of the movie. One of the more grosser scenes is when R keeps eating Perry’s brain – almost like he brought some back to the plane with him as a snack – so that he can see memories of Julie and learn how to better “connect” with her. Once R starts becoming more human, he remembers more words, as well, and I thought that Nicholas Hoult was great in the role; before that, he had to communicate mostly with his eyes and body language. He also made R seem like a normal teenage boy at times, which is no easy feat when you are a zombie. My chief complaint with the film, like I said before, is that I would’ve liked to have had more back story, but as another critic said to me: “It’s a zombie movie! You don’t need a backstory!” In any case, Warm Bodies is still worth seeing, and might be one of the more unique stories I’ve seen at the theater lately, even though I’m generally not a fan of zombie films.
Warm Bodies is in theaters today, February 1st, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 97 minutes.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.