So you probably knew or read that the new film Warm Bodies is based on a young adult novel, and you thought to yourself, "no way, not another Twilight." Surprisingly, this film, while fine for young adults, appeals to the mature romantic in all of us as well.
Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) stars as "R", the zombie with a non-beating heart of gold who does the unthinkable: he makes you swoon over a dead guy. R can't remember his name or anything about his past life, and he spends his days aimlessly roaming around an abandoned airport with his best friend, "M" (Rob Corddry - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). He explains his sorry state of affairs via voice-overs, and we are immediately drawn in by his casual sense of humor about his sad circumstances.
R has nothing to live for (pardon the phrase), that is until he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer - Take Me Home Tonight). Julie's father, Grigio, (John Malkovich - Con Air) is a powerful figurehead who leads the remaining, uninfected humans in preserving their mortality. They live in an army base while Grigio and other soldiers carry out nightly patrols, keeping an eye out for any corpses they may have missed.
R, M and a group of their zombie buddies cross paths with Julie, her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco - 21 Jump Street) and her friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton - Crazy, Stupid, Love) when they are on the hunt for their next meal. R tells us that he does not enjoy hurting people, and he would appreciate if you look away while he executes Perry for sustenance.
While not overly graphic, we do get a few shots of R eating Perry's brains (including that which he saves in his pocket for later), but this is less gross and more symbolic, as R explains that he can absorb people's feelings and memories from their brain matter, much in the same way that cannibals believed they could absorb someone's power from eating their flesh. We are moved as opposed to disgusted as R lives vicariously through flashbacks of Perry's life, and he explains that even though he feels remorse for the way in which he feeds this insatiable need, this act allows him to feel alive again, even if only temporarily.
R sees Julie and immediately falls in love. He saves her from his hungry friends by putting some of Perry's now dead blood on her face to cover up her live smell. This allows her to walk past the corpses without drawing attention (paging The Walking Dead).
R leads Julie back to his "home", an abandoned airplane where he stores the items he collects on his aimless travels. Most prominently featured are R's records, which punctuate his feelings with the likes of Guns 'n' Roses and John Waite. When Julie asks why R prefers records to iPods, R responds, "better...sound..."
R realizes that he is slowly being cured, and that it is Julie who is bringing him back to life. Though, when R and Julie's relationship starts to give the other zombies hope, what can at first be beautiful turns dangerous as they are not only escaping humans who don't believe in a cure, but they must also evade the "Boneys".
Boneys live amongst the corpses and kill anything with a heartbeat without a hint of remorse. They were never a threat to R, M or any of the corpses before, as the corpses had no heartbeat, but this is about to change. R and Julie's newfound connection could put Julie's life and the "lives" of R and the other zombies in grave danger.
How can the corpses enlist the humans' help without taking a bullet to the skull? Can R and Julie's relationship survive this? Can they?
Warm Bodies is a terrific date movie, and it is appropriate for young adults as well, as is evidenced by its PG-13 rating. It will leave you with a warm feeling and it might even make you cry. Warm Bodies has been cited by People magazine as "the best zombie movie in nearly a decade." While not all guys may agree, the ladies may see this as the zombie film they've been waiting for.
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