Opening 21 Feb 2013
Writing credits: Jonathan Levine, Isaac Marion
Principal actors: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry
Billed as a RomCom, Warm Bodies delivers star-crossed lovers with a twist. Set in a devastated world where a mysterious plague has turned much of humanity into zombies, two unlikely lovers find each other and must overcome the barrier between the living and the undead. Nicholas Hoult is the zombie known as “R” who falls in love with Julie Grigio, a human played by Teresa Palmer. John Malkovich has a small part as General Grigio (Julie’s father). The movie is experienced through a narrative from “R’s” perspective, a teen zombie who craves brains while also finding time to collect nostalgia, listen to records and hang with his best friend “M” (Rob Corddry). The zombies spend their days aimlessly roaming an abandoned airport. This is the perfect setting for a soulless environment where a bunch of bodies are just going through the motions of the undead’s daily life.
Through grunts and minimal gestures a group of zombies, including “R” and “M”, head off in search of the living to eat. Their search leads them to a group of teens including Julie. The zombies quickly decimate the group. As ”R” feasts on Julie’s boyfriend’s brains, he sees Julie and realises he must save her. “R” acts quickly, saving her from certain death by smearing her boyfriend’s brains on her cheek to cover the human smell. Thus disguised she returns with ”R” to the airport and his home, an old plane. While spending a few days together, they bond and soon realise they have made a very human connection. The other zombies notice this connection and begin to have hope for themselves. The newly hopeful zombies help Julie reunite with her father, General Grigio, who is none too pleased with her new boyfriend “R”. As the movie comes to its conclusion, we are left to contemplate what makes us human and whether a lifeless world can be transformed by the power of love.
Above all this is a feel good movie. If zombies and the living can find peace together there is hope for us all. Yes corny, but don’t we all need some of that in our lives? I, for one, will experience airport security with a smirk as I join the other living dead making their way through the motions. Although slightly disappointing that John Malkovich played only a small part, this movie is worth it. See it with an open mind; it isn’t your average zombie movie. (Christine Riney)