Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies (2013)

Review By Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich and Rob Corddry
Writer: Jonathan Levine

Zombie movies are a dime a dozen now a days, so it’s hard to dig something new up in the genre. ‘Warm Bodies’ attempts to bring us into the mind of the Zombie and it does a pretty admirable job, however there are a few missteps in my mind that make it an enjoyable yet flawed movie. So what went wrong?

Core to the entire movie is the romantic comedy aspect between human Julie (Teresa Palmer) and zombie R (Nicholas Hoult). This gives us many funny moments but also slows the movie down and forces it to skim over the more interesting ideas. When we are in the mind of R and getting to know what it feels like being a Zombie, the movie moves from high point to high point. I wanted more, but I never got it.

Nicholas Hoult does a good enough job as R, though seems a little more human than he should in the beginning. I don’t think this is the fault of Hoult, more the way the movie was envisioned. Teresa Palmer is also well cast in her role, making for a very positive female character that is strong while keeping her femininity. Malkovich, however, cast as Julie’s father is wasted as he plays the leader of the human colony very predictably. I honestly wonder what drew him to the role. The big surprise for me was Rob Corddry as M, friend of R. He gives a funny yet poignant turn and I really wished he had had more screen time. Unfortunately, it’s not his movie.

Rob Corddry the MVP of Warm Bodies.
Visually the film is good looking, with the occasional flourish when the scene calls for it. CGI is a bit of a letdown though, with the ‘Bonies’ (Zombies who are skeleton-like) looking pretty fake, especially in the bigger scenes. I will, however, give credit to the zombie effects and how they subtlety changed over the course of the movie to reflect the change to human. Regrettably, at the end of the day there was nothing that really leapt off the screen for me in a memorable way.

I can’t say that this movie is bad, not by a long shot. It’s funny, entertaining and tries something new. Biggest problem is that it seems edited down to appeal to Twilight fans rather than horror fans looking for something different. If you like your zombie movies then give it a try, just don’t expect it to live up to the potential it suggested.

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