STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, Analeigh Tipton
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Levine
DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Levine
It’s easy to pawn Warm Bodies off as a Twilight knockoff, and perhaps it owes some of its storytelling to the horrendous mega-franchise, but there’s a charm and a spark in Warm Bodies that cannot be ignored. Where Twilight fails with poor acting, poor direction, and a silly love triangle, Warm Bodies succeeds through humor and a much stronger female lead.
R (Nicholas Hoult) is our narrator for much of the movie. His inner thoughts speak to us in a way he can’t, telling us what he thinks and feels. We learn about the condition of the zombies this way, an how there are ‘corpses’ and there are ‘bonies’ that are too far gone to save. While out on a typical hunt, R meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) just after he eats her boyfriend (Dave Franco) and absorbs his memories. Of course, from the narration, we know he was already still a little human, but the boost from absorbing the memories of her boyfriend seems to enhance his ability to connect with her. Whatever it is, R becomes protective of Julie, keeping her safe from the other zombies. Over the course of the film, R and Julie become friends, and R gradually becomes more and more human. Is it possible that they have found the cure to the disease?
Warm Bodies is genuinely entertaining, from start to finish. Funny, inventive, and sharp, Warm Bodies is the first movie of 2013 that I want to add to my permanent “collection”. Zombies are all the rage right now, from Walking Dead to zombie videogames, everyone is talking about zombies. In what could have been another cookie-cutter entry, something original happened. Hopefully that spark of originality is contagious, an awakens other great films in the genre.
FINAL GRADE: A