It’s February, the month of love. That’s right, everyone, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, so you’re sure to find an abundance of romantic comedies that will give any girl a smile, and maybe some tears will follow later. What happens though, when you add in the paranormal? Do you get something like “Twilight”? Well in a way, you do, but “Twilight” wasn’t a comedy. If instead you think of zombies rather than vampires, then you end up with the recent zom-com “Warm Bodies”.
In this odd take on a paranormal love story, we are introduced to a zombie (Nicholas Hoult) that cannot remember his own name other than it beginning with the letter “R”, so throughout the remainder of the film, he goes by R. The beginning introduces us to the way R thinks on a daily basis, which was nothing less than what an average living person thinks about. The only thing that seems to be debilitating is his physical movements and uncontrollable urge to eat human brains. When a team of zombie-hunters show up ready to kill R and his horde, the zombies attack the humans, but R notices a pretty girl by the name of Julie (Teresa Palmer) that he can’t help but protect…after all he did eat her boyfriend. He immediately grows an attraction to Julie, and continues to eat her boyfriend’s leftover brains, which somehow lets him see the memories, in order to understand Julie further. His love for Julie somehow made his heart begin to pump again, and Julie noticed that maybe there was a cure for the zombie apocalypse after all.
The first thing that you need to know is that this film is self-aware. It knows that it is ridiculous, so it is almost a parody in and of itself. Parts of the film were probably inspired by “Twilight” hate, but it was its own thing at the same time. It did have funny concepts, but for some reason, the movie just didn’t feel like it delivered in the way that it was supposed to. There are parts in the movie where you are just going to laugh out loud, there are others where the movie probably wanted you to, but it didn’t come off that way. The movie also has dramatic parts that just don’t seem consistent with the rest of the film’s subtle humor. That can be an issue for some folks.
Clearly, as romance plays a part in this film, there should be chemistry. There was, but very little. It may be the writing, or the acting, or maybe it was the subconscious image of a living person being with a corpse romantically, but the chemistry just wasn’t where it should have been. The two actors played off of each other well, but there was no electricity between the two. However, when it came down to the actors individual performances, they did very well. Even Rob Corddry did a surprisingly well job with his role. He had his own unique and over-the-top humor here and there, but he actually looked genuinely serious in a few shots, which was a nice change from his usual.
Besides the typical zombies, there were also these skeletal/alien-type looking things. They pretty much had no souls, and were just around to eat anything with a heartbeat, and they were called Bonies. Now, they were clearly CGI, and the character modeling looked pretty nifty, but the animation of the characters was wacky and just looked fake. You will notice this when you watch the film, whenever these characters moved quickly, you could tell the animation almost looks thrown together without any real effort.
When you look past the bad animation, however, the film itself had quite a stunning look. As with many other zombie-flicks, the one thing they usually have in common is that they look pretty. Everything from the colors, to the shots, to simply the text design looks like it fits the vibe of the film.
Here is where the movie gets interesting. The overall concept is derived from something that at least seems completely original. Zombies coming back to life and being cured? Typically, the common theme is that everyone wants a cure, but there can never be a cure. Instead, this film takes a very simple idea and expands on it in a world full of zombies, and the idea alone is a good one. It may not have been done perfectly, but at the very least it is interesting.
“Warm Bodies” came to theaters on Feb. 1, check it out today!