Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton | Written and Directed by Jonathan Levine
At first it was seen as the potential Twilight of zombie movies, and by that I mean it could have turned a much loved subject (like zombies or vampires) into much hated genre: the romantic horror, full ofclichés. But trust me, this is NOTHING like it.
Warm Bodies is a new approach to the zombie universe, which has started to become a new mass phenomenon. The film stars Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), Rob Corddry (Childrens Hospital) and John Malkovich (Con Air). Considered as a new take on the classic Romeo and Juliet tale, the official synopsis is:“
After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human- setting off an exciting, romantic and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.
The film starts out in the mind of R (Hoult), a corpse that introduces us to his current situation of trying to find meaning to his literally meaningless and lifeless existence. You can actually find the first four minutes at the bottom of this post, but what struck me most, and you will probably see it too, is that R tries to remember how his old life was, how people were able to communicate to each other and love one another. And yet, the scene flashes to people of all ages – from a little girl playing on a device to adults talking on phones. That pure and striking image set in our minds provides us with the thought that maybe society as we know it is a world full of zombies. R comically flashes back to the modern world with all this technology made available, and the humans are too self-absorbed within their devices, acting as zombies themselves. R introduces us to M (Corddry) who “speaks” with R, and the two eventually grow a “friendship” and can understand each other. Then there are these creatures called Bonies that are the more vicious and decomposed than the regular corpses, and they will attack anything that gets in their way…
Somewhat based on Isaac Marion’s I am a Body Filled with Love, which he later developed into the novel Warm Bodies has the action and romance people want without it feeling awkward or corny. It’s not a horror movie like zombies are usually made to be, although there are some “pops” that could cause even the most horror-savvy person to flinch… even just a little.
Overall, I did like the movie, and I would go see it again, but what really bothered were the CGI effects of the bonies. The makeup for the corpses actually looked great and reasonable – the corpses were to go from being heartless creatures to caring humans. You can even see how the makeup was made by going to the official website. However, the CGI on the bonies on the other hand was too much to ignore. While I do understand they are to seem gritty and emotionless, the CGI made it look like a cartoon drawing of an Iron Maiden album.
Overall, Warm Bodies is a must-see. Jonathan Levine does an amazing job as a director and writer, as he magically combines action, comedy, romance and a bit of horror into a entertaining and interesting film. I’d give it a seven out of ten because it was a brand new take on things that actually worked, unlike Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk til Dawn, but it still had a few flaws- CGI being the biggest – that couldn’t be overlooked.
Warm Bodies is released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday June 16th.