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Warm Bodies

2013-03-15 09:56
 
Warm Bodies
What it's about:

Set after the events of a zombie apocalypse, Warm Bodies tells the story of a most unusual star-crossed romance between Julie (Teresa Palmer), a human and R (Nicholas Hoult), a highly unusual zombie. Is their burgeoning love doomed to fail, or might it be the unlikely key to the salvation of human kind?

What we thought:

While Warm Bodies may well look, at first glance, to be little more than yet another Twilight cash-in, it's inspiration is clearly far more classic than that. It is, in effect, very clearly William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (hint: check out the names of the two main characters) but with zombies and more gags. It's also Romeo and Juliet transformed from a tragedy into a comedy, as it ends up sending precisely the opposite of Romeo and Juliet's ultimately tragic message.

It is also very clearly heavily indebted to two far more recent stories. First and foremost, however much the PR-machine behind Warm Bodies is trying to push the film as the first ever rom-zom-com (romantic zombie comedy), that title clearly belongs to the already classic rom-zom-com, Shaun of the Dead. It’s clear that writer-director Jonathan Levine is inspired by that Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright sleeper hit, seeing as how (if you excuse the rather disturbing pun) its finger prints are all over Warm Bodies.

And then, of course, there is Zombieland, which is actually probably the film that this is closest to in tone and, well, nationality. First-person narration? Check. Young, attractive and talented young actors? Check again. Indie sensibility? You betcha. Romance, comedy, zombies and gun-toting action? Check, check and check again. Bill Murray? Well, we can't have everything, unfortunately.

The film, in short, wears its influences on its sleeves (and yes, I suppose there is a wee drop of Twilight in there as well) but that doesn't mean it isn't very worthwhile on its own terms. Levine has already proven himself to be one of the best new writer-directors with his excellent 50/50, which was, to my mind, one of the best and most underrated films of 2011 and, though Warm Bodies isn't quite on that level, he has once again crafted a top-notch, genre-bending film that works way better than it probably should.

His dialogue is sharp, his comedy funny and his human moments genuinely touching – even for a zombie film. He also apparently happens to be rather good at nutso fantasy action, which is rather crucial for a zombie film, but there's no doubt that Warm Bodies works better as a character-driven romantic comedy than as a zombie film. As such, it isn't quite up there with Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, but hey, what is?

What Warm Bodies does have going for it, above all else, is a sense of warmth, appropriately enough. Good guys, bad guys, zombies, humans – all of the characters in the film are immensely likeable and, despite it having a rather absurd romance, you really do want it to work out for R and Julie. Also, for a post-apocalyptic movie, it's surprisingly upbeat, even when grizzly (though PG13) stuff happens.

The comedy too, though warped and twisted is still kind of... nice! OK, so the "bony" zombies (zombies that are so far gone, they're little more than skeletons) are less nice but they're done in rubbish CGI so they're barely there anyway.

The cast too more than hold up their side of the bargain with Rob Corddry, Analeigh Tipton and, in typically hammy form, John Malkovich adding great support to main players, Palmer and Hoult. The latter continues his transition from excellent child star in About a Boy to proper, really good adult actor, while this may well be the breakout role for the former, who still looks a bit like Kristen Stewart, though not quite as much as when we last saw her in the silly but fun Take Me Home Tonight. As an Aussie and a Brit, respectively, they also do very passable American accents.

There's little here you haven't seen before, but Warm Bodies is a warm, fun and funny little film that is far better value than most of the paranormal, teen-romance that has been doing the rounds for the last few years.
 
A top-notch, genre-bending film about a zombie who falls in love with a human girl after the world has been left a a wasteland after a zombie apocalypse.

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Jackie 2013-03-15 01:29 PM
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And Zombieland was rubbish but loved Shaun of the Dead, this looks interesting.
Renee 2013-03-15 02:18 PM
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ZOMBIELAND WAS NOT RUBBISH!
m 2013-03-17 10:33 AM
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are there zombie bears in the film, or did you perhaps mean 'grisly'?
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
megan 2013-03-17 06:46 PM
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cool
andrew 2013-03-18 08:58 AM
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zombies is very kool movie i like it very muth must sea it.
Ryan 2013-03-20 09:07 AM
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must learn to spell correctly or are you a zombie? that would explain the loss of brain function leading to your spelling.
Lizette 2013-03-25 02:56 PM
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This movie was very good. It had tears, screams, laughter and love all in one movie. Young and old will enjoy this one.
Sam 2013-03-27 11:53 AM
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I was pleasantly surprised! Nic Hoult's movements were so great; he conveyed so much emotion with so few words. The many references were a bit much but it was still cute.
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