Upon seeing the trailer for Warm Bodies, my first thought was, “Oh god, not another zombie movie.” I expected it would be something similar to Twilight, where a human girl falls for some dead guy who saves her life countless times. After leaving the theater, however, I find it hard to describe exactly how I felt.
In an interesting post-apocalyptic society, Warm Bodies begins with main character R (Nicholas Hoult) trudging his way through an abandoned airport and telling us of his everyday life. Thankfully, a voice-over helps develop his character, otherwise we’d know nothing but a few moans and grunts. Right from the start we can tell that R is not like other zombies; he craves human feelings and sensations and feels guilty in having to eat human brains to experience these things.
Julie (Teresa Palmer) is then introduced, a combatant teenage girl whose father is leader of the remaining survivors. She’s accompanied by her boyfriend Perry and a few others to get supplies from the “other side” of the wall, which had been put up shortly after the zombie virus began to spread. Unsurprisingly, Julie and the others are attacked, R among them. R murders Julie’s boyfriend, and as he’s snacking away on his brain, he gains Perry’s memories and feelings. R then glances up at Julie, and it’s love at first sight.
What follows is quite predictable: R kidnaps Julie, takes her to his home, all the while attempting to keep the other zombies in the dark about the fact that she’s human. He actively avoids the “Bonies”, zombies so far gone that they morph into black, skeletal creatures. Things seem to happen a little too fast, and within a few days, Julie–who had been formerly terrified of R and the others–soon decides that R is different.This new found love for Julie sparks something within R and causes him to slowly become more human. By mid-movie, he’s talking in nearly full sentences and even running when he has to, and his best friend, M, has agreed to help him hide Julie from the others. A revolutionary effect takes place: as the zombies realize that they can come back to life, Julie and R team up to convince the others that they’re now on the same side.
There were a few comical moments, like when Julie and her friend (Nora) give R a makeover in order to sneak him through their city; and a few corny moments, such as when R shows up below Julie’s balcony and calls her name (a Shakespeare allusion?). But overall, Warm Bodies neither exceeded nor fell behind my expectations; it was just one of those films that I wouldn’t watch again, not necessarily because it was bad, but because there wasn’t much there to hold my interest. This resounding theme of “love conquers all” made for a tacky romance between Julie and R, complete with the awful dialogue. And though Nicholas Hoult did a decent job as R, and Nora was a likable character, Julie herself came off as annoying. The movie was tasteless, the plot was a bit weak, and for the most part, the characters were bland. Then again, what more should we expect from a movie where most everyone is dead?
Warm Bodies ended up a forgettable story I certainly won’t remember in two years time. I find myself describing this movie how R himself would: with an apathetic shrug. Score: 5/10.
Nataly Capote/Chief Copy Editor