Zombies...in love. Since the inception of the walking ghouls started by George A. Romero back in 1968 with "Night of the Living Dead" audiences have pretty much seen every undead emotion the stone faced flesh eaters have managed to muster up. Anger, hunger, fury and even a pinch of sadness (via Romero’s most advanced undead icon Bub in "Day of the Dead!") have all been on display at some point or another, but romantic feelings are a new one. As evidenced in the new take on zombie lore entitled "Warm Bodies," a sweet film with both comedy and a surprisingly touching tone, even those with a heart not beating aim to prove that love conquers all.
R is a zombie with a lot on his mind. Although he can’t articulate it, he’s a keen observer of his surroundings and seems to yearn for the days when he was alive and well. But alas he’s still a zombie and as such must feed the undeniable hunger for flesh that drives his inner core. Problem is he eats the boyfriend of a captivating and heart-stopping gal Julie and he soon begins to experience the feelings of romantic intoxication towards her. Not wanting harm to come to his new fling, R brings the weary Julie to his deserted hideaway and over a period of time the two develop one odd and compelling relationship. The question then remains - what will the rest of the world, both the dead and the living alike, think of their unconventional connection?
The premise of "Warm Bodies" while creative is at its core still pretty basic, but it’s the details within that give the film heart. Playing a pair of unusual star crossed lovers (think Romeo & Juliet...for the brain eating crowd!), leads Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer hands down deliver the humor, but it’s their uncanny chemistry that makes the film a stand out. Not that the comedy isn’t fast (the script is filled with a ton of witty quips!) and furious (you can’t beat an undead Rob Corddry!), but its seamless mix with romantic and dramatic overtones is impressive and a specialty of Director Jonathan Levine who showed previous prowess with the film "50/50." And with "Warm Bodies" the juggling act that involves some highly improbable “undead love” could have gone horribly in the wrong severed hands – luckily Levine has the comedy and carnage covered.
There are definitely some cheesy visuals (the “boneys” are CGI ridden – and not in a good way!) and schmaltzy bits (there’s a full-on 80’s montage between lovers!), but in the end all add to the unexpected charm of "Warm Bodies." Short on gore but meaty in love, someone finally created a zombie film that would warm the heart of even Romero himself – I guess love means never having to check a pulse.
"WARM BODIES" OPENS FEB.1 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE FROM SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT.
Title: "Warm Bodies"
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry
Director: Jonathan Levine
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Company: Summit Entertainment