Perhaps you’ve heard of a little film franchise called “Twilight.” Well, meet its counterpart, “Warm Bodies.” Another book to film teen romance, this one deals with the bottom tier of the supernatural world, the zombie. And perhaps might serve as an alternative film for your Valentine’s Day date night.
Inspired by the book by Isaac Marion, the movie opens to R(Nicholas Hoult), the main zombie, narrating as he trudges through an abandoned airport. It has been abandoned because the human race has been practically obliterated as a result of the zombie apocalypse. But R is a little different. He has retained some of his intelligence. He wonders about how he came to be this way, and why he is different from his fellow airport residents. He resides in an empty plane, full of records and things he has swiped on his meal trips. The narration proves amusing, and far more literate than the zombie’s grunts and stuttered words.
Zombies exist of flesh and brains, but here the brains serve as more than a food source. When consumed, they let the zombie experience the human’s thoughts and feelings.
We are then introduced to Julie(Theresa Palmer), the daughter of the leader of a compound of humans. They are out on a retrieval mission for supplies when they are ambushed by R and his band of zombies. Here is where things get a little weird.
R, in all his oddness, seems to fall in love with Julie. Still narrating, he helps Julie escape the zombies and he attempts a greater effort at communication with her.
The movie progresses with our two characters learning about each other, and R seems to be recovering from his zombie state. As a result of the unusual relationship, other zombies seem to begin to recover. They, in turn, then assist in a battle with the “bonies” or zombies who are too far gone to recover.
One thing that may strike the viewer is how the zombies came to be. We see R, in his human state in a flashback, standing in the airport. He is narrating about how being a zombie is lonely, and we see masses of people walking around on their phones and texting. To assist in the zombie recovery, a connection was needed to be made with them, to bring them back to a human state. See where this is going?
The lack of human connection caused by the obsession with digital communication is what results in the zombie apocalypse! That’s right kids, turn on the phone and go play a nice game of soccer, because it might keep you from becoming a flesh-eating zombie! Seriously.
This isn’t a corny knockoff of the “Twilight” movies. The actors here are full of emotion, and a connection is made to the couple that wasn’t felt with the vampire saga. Here, we feel R’s need to connect and Julie’s want to help him and gradual attachment to the zombie. While not a tear jerker like the soon to be romantic competition “Safe Haven,” this film pulls at the heart strings as the pair moves ever closer to resurrection. You will leave the theatre with a spring in your step and a feeling of satisfaction that is rare in films of the teen romance genre. One more familiar with the story of “Romeo and Juliet” might even be able to identify the correlating characters as the film progresses.
The movie is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and some language. Brains are consumed here. R takes leftovers with him to his plane and we see him munching on a handful of pink brains, so for those of a squeamish nature, snack time is generally a quick affair.
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