Like most people, I assumed that death is a strict and irreversible progression from cause to effect, but according to “Warm Bodies” it’s more like a complicated mass of lovey-dovey zombie stuff.
The movie is centered on a teenage zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) who is very strange for a zombie; he longs to connect to others, but since all he can do it grunt and eat brains, he doesn’t have many opportunities. That all changes when he meets a human girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer) while he and pack of zombies are on the hunt.
After killing her ex-boyfriend, Perry (Dave Franco) and eating some of his brain (which apparently allows zombies to experience memories), R is suddenly overwhelmed with the need to protect Julie. He manages to smuggle her to his home, an airplane filled with enough human trinkets to make Ariel jealous. As time goes on, R and Julie bond and R begins to grow more and more alive, which eventually spreads to the other zombies.
“Warm Bodies” is easily the quirkiest rom-com I have ever seen. It contains plenty romantic clichés (including “Romeo and Juliet” references) with some zombified twists. The romance was rather cheesy and improbable, and some of the zombie references were just downright weird (seriously, eating brains giving a zombie access to human memories?). Also, I thought the Disney-like flourish of all the zombies being cured by love was ridiculous.
In all this weirdness, the only relief was the comedy. R’s inner dialogue usually got some laughs, but at other times the humor felt forced, and about two-thirds of the way through became rather tiresome. Hoult played the awkward zombie very well, but again it became frustrating halfway through.
I had hoped that there would be more action-filled sequences. There was the potential, with the fearsome Bonies (skeletal remains of zombies who ‘gave up’), which more closely resembled the zombies of “I Am Legend” than the typical portrayal. However, all they seemed to do was stand around and look creepy, or get in another character’s face and leer. Even the battle pitching Bonies against humans and zombies was very anti-climactic.
Overall, the movie seemed stuck between trying to be a romance, a comedy and an action film, and ended up portraying none of the genres well. I also found that this movie is entirely useless in forming a plan for the zombie apocalypse as well.
Taylor Finke is a freshman. You may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.