What I'm Watching: Warm Bodies
Sticking with the theme of supernatural romances adapted from novels, here's some thoughts on Warm Bodies!
Now, I *know* this movie was hit with backlash because I saw a lot of people saying, "Ugh, no thank you. it's just Twilight with Zombies."
And that, that is a shame, because Warm Bodies is a genuinely entertaining, if not great, movie.
The story is set in a world with two levels of zombies. There's your recently dead zombies, who still have a sense of self, ability to think, and sadly, an overwhelming urge to eat human flesh. Eventually, their humanity fades away, along with their consciousness and memories, and devolve even further into skeletal zombies that have zero humanity left in them.
We follow the adventures of one such still-humanoid zombie, whom is later named R, as he meets a girl and falls for her. It's your classic love story of REALLY forbidden love, especially when she starts to fall for him. Julie can't quite figure out why, but it probably helps that R isn't trying to eat her.
The biggest fault of the movie probably comes from a need here. They made R too pretty. You need to make him look dead, look enough like a zombie, but still have him not look like you will lose your lunch by looking at him. And so R ends up with a look that made people think of Edward's pale sparkliness, and that made people judge the movie before even seeing it.
The relationship between R and Julie somehow works, and the build up is done very well. They have ups and downs, it isn't really love at first bite...er, sight, and their struggles are believable. For one of them being a zombie, that is.
Warm Bodies succeeds in actually making you feel for R and the zombies. The movie is rife with dark humour, which you kinda need, and expect, from the self-aware zombies. It pokes fun at tropes, and embraces a few others, but runs with them in fun ways.
Rob Corddry as R's friend M brings a lot of humour, as you would expect from the Daily Show alum. Any scene with him in it, is great, and his performance is worth watching. And if he's not enough, then you've got John Malkovich as Julie's father and the military leader of the human settlement featured in the movie.
My only problem with the story, is that the zombie plague is turned back by the power of love? This was just poorly explained and handwaved, more than I would like. But turning the tide of the undead isn't really the thrust of the story, and save for being important to literally humanising R, it's not that important. Just more of a, "Oh, come ON!" moment for me.
Warm Bodies is charming, fun, and funny, with a great cast, and good chemistry between the two leads. It was much more enjoyable than Beautiful Creatures, and I definitely recommend it to fans of zombie movies who want something a little different.