Zombie films have a long and serious history: “28 Days Later,” “Night of the Living Dead” and “I Am Legend” are just a few examples. What’s not serious about walking corpses and the end of humanity itself?
However, a mass of zombie comedies such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Fido” have recently broken the genre’s seriousness rather than propel it. These films draw a clear line between funny and serious.
“Warm Bodies,” a new zombie movie which falls on the line’s funny side, follows a zombie named R who falls in love with a human named Julie after he attacks her search party and kills her boyfriend. R learns more about Julie when he eats her boyfriend’s brains (don’t ask), and the two discover their love is the zombie virus’ cure as their relationship forms. The film’s remainder follows R’s and Julie’s struggle to reveal the cure to the world.
Austin Flynn: There are so many vampire and zombie movies nowadays. To be honest, I can’t remember the last one I truly cared about. While “Warm Bodies” was a lot of the same as far as plot goes (there’s not much you can do with the end of the world), I’m happy to say it was an enjoyable experience filled with laughs and respectable character development. Nicholas Hoult played R well in his lifeless state, and he really made the stiff-acting style Kristen Stewart trademarked in “Twilight” look good. Teresa Palmer’s Julie pleasantly complemented his performance. For me, the actors made the movie, and it was nice to see film veteran John Malkovich alongside some younger actors, even though his character didn’t make many appearances.
Karsten Burgstahler: I’m actually quite bummed that Malkovich appears very little. His mannerisms and dry acting methods could have been put to more use, but I digress. I agree Palmer and Hoult play well off of each other, but I’m not sure how well the dialogue can help when the movie’s main character can speak only in groans. R’s grunting is funny for a little while, but it eventually gets old so I’m glad his character evolves. Rob Corddry as R’s friend M plays a nice supporting role, but I think he was underused. The screenwriters had enough clever twists to keep the audience occupied, and the action elevates the film above its “Twilight” brethren.
AF: Although it is slightly cheesy to use love as the cure, the twist was handled interestingly. My biggest complaint was Julie’s strange willingness to accept the fact that R killed her boyfriend, but I suppose I can let it slide if I can accept zombies curing themselves by means of warm, fuzzy feelings. The action was impressive, the comedy was well-timed and the actors played their respective roles admirably. I feel like “Warm Bodies” surpassed my expectations. However, if you want the stereotypical zombie gore fest, this film isn’t the best choice. “Warm Bodies” is not even close to “Zombieland,” but that’s like comparing Malkovich to Bill Murray. There’s just no contest.
KB: I would say the movie surpassed my expectations as well. February movies are often ones the studios want to hide, so “surpassed expectations” is a victory. The action sequences, although not incredibly numerous, are exciting. Summit Entertainment, the studio that also produced “Twilight,” has built a teen-flick empire. “Warm Bodies” was a gamble, but I would say they’re on the right track since the company earned a positive review after we drubbed the last “Twilight” flick. “Warm Bodies” is a fine example of how a paranormal-romance flick can appeal to a wide audience. Kristen Stewart, take note.
1hr 37min – Rated PG-13 – Comedy