The best way to describe “Warm Bodies” (trailer below) is as a romantic zombie comedy. It has a little bit of action, some love, some humor, and a lot of heart. While it works as a good mix of everything above it doesn’t necessarily excel in any one area, and that ends up being its downfall. The weak plot and sub-par script keep it from being the next “Shaun of the Dead.”
The plot is as follows: After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world. “Warm Bodies” stars Nicholas Hoult (“X-Men: First Class”), Teresa Palmer (“I am Number four”), John Malkovich (“Red”), and Rob Corddry (“Hot Tub Time Machine”), and while they all have suitable chemistry with each other the script keeps you from caring about anyone but the lead.
While there are a few scares it is impossible for me to call this a horror film; it lacked gore, barely had any cursing (what little cursing there is was used for comedic relief, but it works), and really downplays the violence in favor of a “Twilight”-esque love story, and some zombies shuffling around.
The weak plot, somehow people that have been dead for years and years are able to come back to life, coupled with the fast pace of the story, they don’t allow time to develop characters and plot points, makes for a weak film structurally. Somehow former humans called Bonies, that are now only a skeletal structure with no muscle mass, are able to outrun humans and zombies alike, and they are stronger too. It is weak parts of the plot like these that really left a bad taste in my mouth. When you consider that certain places inexplicably still having electricty, and stale warm beer still foams and is “The best beer I’ve ever had” when opened, you begin to realize that realism is not something you should expect.
Entertainment wise, which (in my opinion) is the purpose of going to the movies, “Warm Bodies” delivers a lot. A steady stream of laughs from start to finish mixed with a character we can all actually relate to keeps us entertained and captivated by this post-apocalyptic world. I would have liked it to be maybe 25 minutes longer in order to add more back story to the other characters so that we cared if they lived or died.
At the end of the day this is a great film for couples to see as it is all about love, and it is a fresh take on the tired “Romeo and Juliet” type of story. This is the first romantic comedy I have seen in a while that I haven’t been ashamed to tell my guy friends about, and I think there is enough here for even adults to enjoy. Its lack of gore makes it more open to older audiences, and the excellent lead (Nicholas Hault really delivers) keeps you entertained during the time when no characters can speak on screen.
I was curious to see how this zombie love story could actually work, and they did a sufficient enough job selling me on it. The absurd gaping plot holes aside (even “The Dark Knight Rises” has those) this is still entertaining, unique, creative, and worth the trip to the theater. It probably works better as a date night type of outing, but there are things here for everyone. 3.5/5
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