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Warm Bodies


warm bodies poster

A few months back I had to do a little research into the state of the gun industry in the United States. Now, this was before the tragic events that have redefined the discourse surrounding our gun-centric culture. No, at this time, one of the biggest factors driving gun purchases was preparation for the zombie apocalypse. Gasp you should, but before you follow that with a disbelieving scoff, I found that information at reputable sites like the Washington Post and sites devoted to gun and ammunition trade shows. The point is America seems to like one thing more than guns: zombies. More importantly, how do you survive an attack and what’s your weapon of choice? Luckily, a refreshing change of pace to combat the Walking Dead’s in the entertainment industry can be found in Warm Bodies.

Grade:

B

R (Nicholas Hoult) is not quite your typical zombie. Sure, he grunts and moans like the rest and even munches on brains from time to time, but when he sets eyes on Julie (Teresa Palmer), the captivatingly beautiful and startlingly alive girl about to be devoured by his friends, everything changes and he begins to regain a heartbeat. John Malkovich, Rob Corddry, Analeigh Tipton, and Dave Franco also star as humans and zombies alike.

By far the most intriguing aspect of Warm Bodies is the running narration provided by Hoult/R. If you’ve ever wondered what the stream of consciousness of the living dead sounded like (and haven’t we all at some point pondered this?), Warm Bodies helps you out. It’s an interesting choice to have the movie offered from the zombie’s perspective, as these lost, former humans are simply trying to remember what happened to them before they become bonies, the decrepit next step after zombie.

WarmBodies-1

In any case, Hoult provides a solid protagonist despite limited room for activity, obviously. His career has skyrocketed since his time on Skins (UK version, not that failed US version) with roles in A Single Man and the new group of X-Men films, and for good reason. He’s charismatic and likeable without taking too much attention from what’s happening around him, even when leading a film like this one. He provides a subtle strength to a lifeless character and works well with Palmer, who in her own right isn’t a bad actress. The casting for the leads allows Warm Bodies to stay afloat.

The biggest flaw with Warm Bodies is perhaps its most brilliant theme: Shakespeare. Yes, the one and the same. About halfway through, you will get that “Aha!” moment and roll your eyes at the parallels between Warm Bodies and a certain Shakespearean tale. As one of my friends pointed out upon hearing my theory, there are aspects of Warm Bodies that are almost anti-Shakespearean in their ability to break down the story to its core as a tale of rebirth. While not being as subtle as the director may have hoped, this is still an oddly deep insight derived from a zombie rom-com.

warm bodies 2

While I did not enjoy Warm Bodies quite as much as expected, I still found it highly entertaining and definitely worth my time and money. Additionally, Rob Corddry, when not acting like an imbecile, is quickly becoming one of my favorite character actors in comedies today (see: Hot Tub Time Machine and Butter). Warm Bodies has some “oh come on” moments, but it is fresh and original and provides some laughs. Check it out.

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