Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 80% (Critics) / 79% (Audience)
Directed By: Jonathan Levine
Written By: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton and John Malkovich
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Synopsis:After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world. (Source)
The semi-original take on zombies was refreshing to see especially with the massive amounts of zombie properties that are currently permeating every facet of pop culture (even though this concept it is handled much better in the BBC series IN THE FLESH). Nicholas Hoult was really good as R the romantic lead zombie in all his different facets from sarcastic voice-over, to shambling flesh-eater to lovelorn zombie to becoming a real live boy again.
The romance at the heart of the film never really worked for me mostly because the idea that a root worthy relationship could be built based off R falling in love with Julie only because he ate her boyfriend’s brains and absorbed the boyfriends memories and feeling just irked me. Maybe it is just a flaw that stands out to me with all of these young adult fantasy romance novels. The great romantic love affairs at the heart of almost all of these books is usually some toxic, obsessive and vapid love that is based on nothing more than some immature notion of what love is. Take TWILIGHT for instance, Bella was an overly needy budding sociopath and Edward was a creepy stalker with pedo undertones…that aint love folks that is a future murder/suicide. And the relationship in WARM BODIES was not much different.
I also was a bit annoyed by the whole “love cures the zombie virus” thing. Unless the zombie apocalypse was part of some magic spell gone wrong I don’t see how getting the warm fuzzes for someone would restart your heart and take away your need to eat human flesh. This movie desperately needed an evil witch to show up and explain the “zombie rules” to my satisfaction.
Aside from being a monumentally shitty looking CGI effect the Bonies were also pretty crappy villains. They had no personality and were never fully explained as to just why they turned into screeching skeletons and as a result I never gave a damn about them or anything they did in this movie.
Final Verdict: An original take on a very well worn premise, WARM BODIES shines when Nicholas Hoult is onscreen being the world’s most awkward zombie. As long as he is center stage I was able to overlook the many issues I had with the storyline inconsistencies and unconvincing romantic plot that drove the majority of the film.