Intermittently, I find myself extremely pessimistic when it comes to modern Gothic romance onscreen thanks to Twilight. Twilight ruined any chance Warm Bodies had at proving it’s worth a viewing or two on a rainy day. This is unfortunate because some of these films might surprise you. Presently, I am incredibly optimistic and unapologetic. Don’t get me wrong, Warm Bodies is far from perfect and I found it to be a little silly for my taste but it’s not to be taken earnestly and it’s surprisingly genuine after the zombie genre made such a huge impact on the world thanks to The Walking Dead. Even though I adore The Walking Dead and its characterization, I have grown tired of the zombie genre. Before The Walking Dead, I was already having doubts. It’s the same song and dance over and over again with little trace of originality.
This isn’t the first time the world has been introduced to a romantic-dark comedy about a human falling in love with a zombie. My Boyfriend’s Back, anyone? Even that effort is hit or miss but people still praise it for it’s comedic tone and freshness. I feel as if Warm Bodies went with this idea and expanded it to a whole new level that has never been seen before.
On with the plot! Nicholas Hoult (dark handsome young lad as Frank McCoy in X-Men: The First Class) is a zombie on the hunt for human brains with his own zombie posse, the hilarious Rob Corddry (Operation Endgame, Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) being the leader of sorts. Hoult doesn’t remember his name but thinks that it starts with an R so for the entire duration of the film he is addressed as “R.” The zombie heartthrob still has traces of a real person inside that likes to collect records and lives in an airplane. It’s just another day in the life as a zombie, savagely ripping apart human brains and soaking up their memories, R spots a Kristen Stewartish girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer) then instantly falls head over heels. This motivates zombie boy into making it his mission to insure the girls safety. The two hit it off while listening to records and taking photographs but Julie has to get back to her home behind the Berlin wall (not really) where her father runs a military operation that wouldn’t think twice before putting a bullet in that brain of his.
As usual, there’s more to the story. Not only are there zombies, there are the “Bonies.” The Bonies are terrible CGI skeleton zombies that are so far gone, there is no possible chance for a cure and what of this cure? The image of two people holding hands is powerful and a cure to a zombie Apocalypse. I guess you can say that love can cure death. That’s fine and dandy but there are a lot of problems that are never addressed. For instance, what the hell are these cured zombies doing for food? Even while the humans take it upon themselves to spend so much time curing the undead, what are they eating in the meantime without deteriorating? More importantly, can they reproduce?
There isn’t a need to over think Warm Bodies. It’s funny, spunky, and fresh with Romeo and Juliet references and a quirky script. I found myself chuckling during a moment where Julie and her friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) are giving R a makeover with the song Pretty Woman playing on the Ipod. There is another silly moment where Julie holds a blu-ray copy of Lucio Fulci’s Zombies next to R’s face, comparing the two with laughter.
Perhaps it’s the girl in me. I genuinely liked it but not enough to own it on DVD. Maybe one day I will watch it again. Give it a chance. There are many promising actors; John Malkovich, James Franco’s young brother Dave Franco, and the cinematography is beautiful. It has a sense of humor and the balls to be romantic. Never judge a book by its cover.