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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Review: Warm Bodies (2013, 12A)

Title: Warm Bodies
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Nicholas Hoult ... R
Teresa Palmer ... Julie
Analeigh Tipton ... Nora
Rob Corddry ... M
Dave Franco ... Perry
John Malkovich ... Grigio

SummaryAfter R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

This is a brilliant film and anyone who says any different is fibbing :). I missed this when it was at the cinema because it came out at the same time as a whole bunch of other films I wanted to see, so as soon as it came out on blu-ray I snapped it up. I am so glad I did. Now I can watch the funny, thought provoking and touching film over and over again.

I'm not really a huge zombie movie fan because they tend to be something of a downer, what with there usually being a zombie apocalypse and everything. Warm Bodies is actually the opposite - it is a very uplifting story. It's also a romance ... and don't go ewwww - it so works.

The first half of the movie has some genius comedy as well as being just a little bit brutal. This isn't a movie about the zombie apocalypse happening - it's already done that and we come in where the zombies are wandering freely and the living humans are behind a wall in the middle of the city. What's going on in the rest of the world we aren't told, but there are no planes in the sky (there is a conversation to confirm this) so it looks like the whole world is gone.

R lives at the airport, where a lot of the zombies seem to gather. He doesn't remember his name, only that it began with R and he doesn't remember who he was. He has his own place in an old plane where he hoards things he collects when they go into the city to hunt. However, he does kind of remember being human and his internal monologue is absolutely brilliant. Nicholas Hoult plays him so very, very well and there is this quite animated mental voice and slow zombie body. It's brilliantly done actually, because at the beginning of the film R can barely speak, as proved when he meets his best friend M (for a very zombie interpretation of best friend) and they grunt at each other (their sum total of communication), so his inner voice gives us all the information.

There are also two types of zombie, R's kind and those who have given up and become bonies. As you can see in the picture they are nasty. Basically a zombie like R rips their skin off and you get a bony. These are a brilliant plot device to give you the bad guys, not that R's lot are nice, they still eat people, but as he says, at least he's conflicted about it.

Nora, R and Julie (after they've made him up to look alive)
Then you have Julie (and to my shame it did take me 'til the end of the movie to put R and Julie together and get the Romeo and Juliet reference) who is the daughter of Grigio, the man who organised and saved the living population of the city. He's a bit focused and her boyfriend, Perry, seems to want to emulate him. Julie is fierce in her own right and it's a romance, but she does not suddenly fall into R's arms. He protects her from the hordes by making her smell like a zombie, but give her a weapon and she's quite capable of protecting herself except when she's hideously out numbered.

This film has a very dry wit. You'd think to make a zombie sympathetic you'd have to make them not a zombie, but to begin with R is a little unusual, but he's still definitely a zombie. He's dead, he eats brains (and the reason for that is another stroke of genius which I am not going to reveal) and it's only his connection with Juile that starts to change him. The movie takes you on that journey with him as he dodges the risk of being shot in the head and the bonies.

The cast is brilliant, the effects are good, the plot is absolutely amazing (I am going to have to look up the book by Isaac Marion) and I utterly, utterly love it. Who knew you could make a feel good zombie romantic comedy with some horror on the side?

7 comments:

  1. So when are you watching it again so I can come watch it too?

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  2. Okay, you've convinced me to give this movie a go! When I heard about it, I just assumed it was a zombie 'Twilight', but you've intrigued me now. :)

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    1. I think it kind of takes the piss out of Twilight at times - there is a great scene where R's inner monologue is something along the lines of 'Stop being creepy. Stop staring. You're being creepy again.' when he's trying to look after Julie :).

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  3. I have to say I've been dubious about this movie, half afraid it would be "Twilight" with zombies instead of vampires. However, since you point out that it has a sense of humor (clearly lacking in "Twilight"), I'm starting to like "Warm Bodies" already. I'll give it a go when I have a chance. Thanks so much for the recommendation. :-)

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    1. Didn't feel like Twilight at all - too much dry wit :). I hope you enjoy it, I thought it was superb.

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  4. I thought it was a good movie - I like that it's so much more hopeful than standard zombie fare - but I didn't love it. The other recent young adult novel-to-film adaptation I enjoyed more was 'Beautiful Creatures.'

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