Post-apocalyptic stories have caught on like fire in young adult fiction and at the box office. They intrigue me despite their eerie predictions. Also popular in today’s pop culture is the fandom of vampires, werewolves and zombies. Those stories are a sure sign I will ignore the movie. This movie did the impossible; it entertains, delights and charms me. Think Beauty and the Beast, with a twist.
Warm Bodies (2013) Film Review
R (Nicholas Hoult) doesn’t even know who he is anymore. He shuffles along for endless days that turn into weeks; the most exciting thing that happens is when he occasionally bumps into a passerby. He’s pale, his posture is terrible and, oh yeah, here’s the kicker: he is no longer among the living. Going by nothing other than “R,” he and his friend (Rob Conroy) are zombies along with a growing number of other “bodies.” As if things weren’t already bad enough, no one really knows how they even got there. But R is different. Sure he does eat human brains but at least he has the decency to feel bad about it, and then there are boney’s. Skeletons that you don’t want to mess with.
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Everything starts to change when R and his pack go into the city, and after they attack a group of young humans trained with skills to kill and evade zombies, R rescues a girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer). A human whose boyfriend he just ate, inserting all of Perry’s memories as his own.
Call me crazy – heck, I even thought it of myself and wondered what it is that wins over my conservative sensibilities, but I actually like this movie. Reviewing this is… weird for me. I get that. For the sake of everything that is normal and comfortable, what part of my girl-who-likes-happily-ever-afters in the traditional sense could possibly like a gross, zombie-eating bunch of misfits – what pulls me in? I cannot answer the puzzle but what I can say is that I watched this movie in two settings, 24 hours apart and couldn’t wait to get back for the final climax.
Misjudging a movie is not something I usually do since I tend to know what I like. Aside from knowing R is a zombie dude, I didn’t realize the setting was post-apocalyptic (duh! It’s about zombies!) nor did I realize how very reminiscent this is of a beloved children’s fairy tale. Sitting here even fifteen plus minutes after credits roll, I am still trying to figure out why I like Warm Bodies. This baffles me especially considering I am an avid Hallmark movie sort of girl. Somehow those two mediums don’t fit. By the end, I was grinning ridiculously and despite a rough start, I knew I’d just been duped by a sappy, cute and clever zombie romance.
While watching it, my mind kept backtracking to the classic story of Beauty and the Beast because of how things end and the sense of “redemption” the zombies need in order to enter a society that once shuns them (with good reason), however I suspect what the writer (it’s based on a book of the same name)intends is to put more of a Romeo and Juliet spin on it – could there be any more obvious of a shout-out than their names!?
If you can compartmentalize the story and get past the first fifteen to twenty minutes (with the zombie “gore”), you may actually enjoy the quirkiness of the story. Buried underneath the bit about the hero being dead beats the heart of a “traditional” teen romance. I really like Julie; she’s a bit of a rebel with a kick-butt, no-nonsense attitude and her relationship with R is… unique. There is no big break up blow-up (although they do part ways!), but there is legitimate cause (I mean, really, the dude annihilated her boyfriend). As for R, he’s quite amusing; and Hoult’s voice-over is clever and witty. The crushing he does on Julie is just… so cute! I mean he’s protective of her and in turn, she also reminds him something lost. The result is pretty cool since another thing I was unaware of was the “adventure” of the story.
“Keep. You. Safe.” – Warm Bodies
This isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s quirky and marches to the beat of its own drum. I didn’t feel as if it put on airs that it was any “better” than the next teen romance (slow motion filming and eye locks prove that point!) but the music is cool in a vintage sort of way. If you lined up ten teen dramas that are the “typical” issue of shallow, this one does look a little deeper. True we may struggle to get past the canon by which its told or miss the point because of this distraction but at its heart, there is a good deal to glean from this movie. It encourages us to look beyond the physical to what a person’s character is; to show kindness where once that would have been impossible. It may not be as clever as it could be. But Warm Bodies is good.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)Warm Bodies: A Cute Zombie RomCom of an Adventure. A review of the 2013 #romance with Nicholas Hoult. #Zombies #Movies #Throwback Click To Tweet
Content: in the first twenty minutes, zombies kill and eat the brains of several people [there is blood on their faces, though most of the actual acts of killing is just out of camera range]; later R is seen eating brain [it’s not “gross”]. There is one or two uses of the f-word; other minor profanities pepper the script [sh*t, h*ll] and misuse of God/Jesus’ name. A girl strips down to her underwear after being drenched in the rain [we see a backside glimpse of her] and a guy’s upper back while he showers. The movie is PG13.