Warm Bodies (2013) has been looped in with the Twilight Franchise ever since the first movie poster appeared, but this movie has much more to offer than any Twilight film. Being a skeptic from the get go my heart did eventually warm up to the idea of a Zom-Rom-Com, most likely because of the catchy TV spots with that damn Black Keys song that is impossible to get out of your head.
(Said song being Lonely Boy, which is even catchier than the TV spot.)
Warm Bodies is easily a modern day, zombiefied, loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, so for viewers and critics who claim this is just zombies cashing in on Twilight are seriously missing some cultural background. The main characters are even named Julie and R. R being the zombie love interest (who is hot regardless of the fact that he is dead) can not remember his full name, all he knows is that it begins with an R. Sadly, as much as the overall film screams (or moans) Romeo and Juliet I had not caught on to it until a certain balcony scene. It should have been realized after he couldn’t retrieve his full name and Julie went through a list of ‘R’ names.
Although, before the love story turns into Romeo and Juliet it is a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome between Julie and her zombie captor who saves her from being eating by other zombies. —I honestly never thought that I would string those words together in one sentence before now. This movie has me questioning my life choices.—
Their blossoming romance is fun to watch, Julie (Tersea Palmer) doesn’t have the best character development but R (Nicholas Hoult) makes up for it. R has the best inner monologue that has been heard since possibly Patrick Batman in American Psycho. It is comparing apples to oranges (or serial killers to zombies) but the monologue is by far the best way of getting to know R. He is truly remorseful about being a zombie and eating Julie’s boyfriend. The audience falls for R, just like Julie eventually does. You want to see him turn into a human again so they can truly be together. For being a zombie movie, the writers pull the afflicted love story together astoundingly well, —after you get past the notion that it began as Stockholm Syndrome.
The writers also make R into a mediocre hipster, R likes vinyl and he thinks that it sounds better. But this does make for a killer soundtrack, which is by far a binding piece in the storytelling for this movie.
What is nice about this film (and most likely the book by Isaac Marion) is that for once, somebody explains why zombies like to eat brains. As we all know, Zombies don’t dream and don’t hold memories, but when they eat a person’s brain they relive their dinners memories. It is sadistic, but kind of poetic at the same time. A job well done with that plot line.
Rob Coddry (who plays R’s best friend M) and Nicholas Hoult are by far the best performances in this movie which is odd considering they play zombies. But they have the mannerisms down, and the lines that Coddry does have are delivered perfectly. R’s transformation from zombie to human was done surprisingly well. Some may think that it would be a difficult feat to act, but Hault is a wonder to watch.
This film was much better than anticipated, although many jokes and punchlines are seen in the trailers or TV spots. Zombie films do a great job of making me anxious during the chase scenes, and Warm Bodies accomplishes the same anxious, heart pounding scenes. But for once it is nice to see a zombie movie with a cure in it.
The story line is also a great metaphor on how our country is becoming divided with our past presidential elections. Zombies vs Humans, Republicans vs Democrats. I would go more into this metaphor but A.) I wouldn’t want to bore you and B.) It would contain spoilers. If you would like to see what more I have to say about this metaphor comment! And we will discuss.