Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 97 minutes

I'm sure some people were quite skeptical about this movie. It's easy to compare this to Zombieland or Twilight just by looking at the surface. Either way, I was having some good feelings about this movie and I knew I didn't want to wait for the DVD release. Doesn't help that I've been theater deprive.

R is an unusual zombie who still retains some sort of consciousness inside. He can't properly talk, feel, or remember his past, but he narrates the story through his thoughts of what's going on in this world. He lives a somewhat normal life, living in an airplane and hanging out with his best friend "M". One day, R goes out with a pack to feed, even though he doesn't particularly like doing it, but he has to survive somehow. During the feeding, he sees Julie and instantly becomes interested in her. He protects her and brings her back to his makeshift home.

I know a bunch of people who enjoyed this movie are probably annoyed by the Twilight comparisons, but to me this movie felt like taking a jab at certain elements from the movie. Apparently, this harks back to the classic "Romeo and Juliet" story, which I didn't notice until afterwards. It does feature a romantic relationship with an undead, pale male lead and Juliet kinda resembles a better looking and expressive Kristen Stewart, but this is more of a comedy than anything else. You can almost call it a satire of previous films as it picks on some movie cliches. For example, the typical makeover montage with "Pretty Woman" in the background.

I wasn't familiar with any of the main cast, except John Malkovich...which doesn't mean anything. I'm terrible with actor names. I think they all did a good job and they were believable to me. Some might criticize a few ridiculous unnatural moments, but if you look in the context of the film and don't read into this movie like Citizen Kane, it's easily enjoyable. I also think I developed a tiny crush for Nicholas Hoult. The story is entertaining and amusing. It has a lot of charm and wit to keep you engaged in the story. I hardly had any problems with this movie. They made a good use of CGI, especially with the Bonies which were quite eerie and a huge contrast from the corpses or zombies that R and "M" are. It has some occasional cheesy moments, but they're enjoyable. Lastly, I want to commend the editing of this movie. It had a good balance of getting us inside of R's head quite literally without giving away too much.

Since I didn't know this was based off a book, I'm not going to groan over it joining the bandwagon of the usual adaptations/remakes/reboots/sequels/prequels we've been subjected to. It was a very good movie and I might pick up the book later. This was definitely a refreshing cinematic experience and a lighter one than the violent Django Unchained. Once I left the theater, I was very tempted to turn right back around the next day to see it one more time. If you want a good date movie or just an entertaining one with tons of charm, I highly recommend this movie. It'll put a smile on your face for sure.

Rating: 4/5

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