During a time of year where few new releases are worthy of your $11 ticket, “Warm Bodies” breaks the trend and offers a fun and refreshing take on both the zombie and romantic comedy genres. From the opening scene, the film quickly establishes it’s very wry and self-aware tone that puts to rest any fears that this will be a rehash of every other zombie movie you’ve seen.
The story follows R, played by Nicholas Hoult in a classic boy meets girl storyline with a zombie twist. The audience quickly learns that R is a very unique zombie and it is this same quality that makes “Warm Bodies” a special film. As stated “Warm Bodies” is a very self-aware film, which never takes itself too seriously and is careful to avoid the pitfalls of both its genres. The film does not waste time with a will they/won’t they storyline or by setting up an overly complicated history of where the zombies came from. Instead the story quickly brings the two leads R and Julie (Teresa Palmer) together and spends most of its time exploring their relationship.
With so much of the story focusing on R and Julie’s relationship the success of the film heavily relies on Hoult and Palmer’s chemistry and performances. Luckily both actors excel in their roles with Palmer delivering a very honest and genuine performance as Julie while Hoult steals the screen as R. In a very unique role, Hoult delivers a performance that is both understated and complex as he portrays R’s evolution. It’s a fragile role that could make or break the film, which Hoult navigates perfectly with both subtlety and charm. Both actors do an excellent job of making these characters believable and bringing their world to life.
With a focus on characters and relationships, “Warm Bodies” is a fun and engaging film that gives homage to both its zombie and romantic comedy heritage. If you’re looking for something different, “Warm Bodies” is a film with heart and energy that is sure to entertain.
"Warm Bodies" opened Feb. 1, 2013.
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