Monday, February 4, 2013
REVIEW: Warm Bodies
Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer
February 1, 2013
1 hour 38 minutes
At first glance, 'Warm Bodies' seems like a straight up 'Twilight' ripoff, but this time it's about zombies in the post apocalyptic future rather than vampires in a rural part of Washington State. Instead of the film just being a simple love story between an immortal being and a regular human girl, it actually takes the ideas of the apocalypse, zombies, and love, and puts a fresh spin on it. The story of 'Warm Bodies' follows a zombie who goes by the name "R" who is conflicted with eating humans. He doesn't want to, but he has to in order to survive and feels bad about it after. R soon comes across a human named Julie whom he for really fascinating reasons becomes attracted to her and feels obligated to protect her from his fellow zombies, as well as the "bonies," who are a more vicious and carnivorous type of zombie. Since the director of the film was Jonathan Levine, who directed the 2011 dramady '50/50,' I had faith that this film would be good. Sure enough, it is exactly what I wanted it to be and more. 'Warm Bodies' is an intelligent, hilarious, and touching romantic comedy that can be enjoyed by anyone who has a pulse.
The real standout of the film is Nicholas Hoult as R. The only other film I can recall seeing him in recently was 2011's 'X-Men: First Class,' and he was great in it. Hoult's performance as R is played more for comedy, yet it also features a deeper performance than I was expecting. What I mean by that is that there is a kind of complexity to Hoult's character since he's mostly using his inner monologue as dialogue, showing that he is a human trapped in a zombie's body. Teresa Palmer adds a substance to her "damsel" character and acts more as an intelligent badass rather than a clumsy damsel captured by the "beast." Rod Corrdry delivers on some hilarious comedic moments as well, along with 'Crazy Stupid Love's' Analeigh Tipton. Dave Franco and John Malkovich deliver in strong supporting roles as well. Overall 'Warm Bodies' features a great cast that features a really strong performance from a potentially big star, Nicholas Hoult. If anyone should be given credit to the film, however, it should go to writer/director Jonathan Levine.
To be honest, I've never read the book 'Warm Bodies,' which the movie is based off of. However from what I've read of the book, it seems that Jonathan Levine stayed true to it and even enhanced it in some ways. Not only is the dialogue sharp and often hilarious, but the story itself is presented with so many unique and clever ideas that I'm shocked haven't been thought of before. One of those ideas is that zombies try to eat human brains in order to gain the memories of the now deceased. Levine even manages to make William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' relevant once again and have an interesting twist on the story. This story doesn't exactly copy off of the classic forbidden love tale, but it does allude to it in some interesting ways. After seeing the film, I am tempted to read the original book of 'Warm Bodies' and compare the book and movie to see what's different about them. Just know that this zombie love tale is much funnier and more unique than one might expect.
Valentine's Day is literally around the corner, and so many sappy romantic dramas will be coming out for girlfriends to drag their boyfriends to. Luckily if the boyfriend is dragged to see 'Warm Bodies,' chances are that they will probably have a really good time. The film itself isn't sappy at all. Rather, it's hilarious and awesome overall. The performances are great, especially from Nicholas Hoult. The script by Jonathan Levine is clever and sharp as a pitchfork in terms of dialogue. For a 98 minute movie, the film never feels too short or too long. Just go along for the ride and you may have a good time. 'Warm Bodies' is that mixture of 'Twilight,' 'Romeo and Juliet,' and 'Zombieland' that shouldn't work, but thanks to the writing and direction of Jonathan Levine, work really well together. Who would have guessed that a movie about dead zombie who falls in love would actually have the brain and the pulse to actually work?
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