“Warm Bodies” puts a fresh spin on romantic comedies and shatters zombie stereotypes with an entertaining, lighthearted plot.
“Warm Bodies” takes place after an epidemic leaves humans vastly outnumbered by zombies. Vinyl-collecting zombie R (Nicholas Holt) spends his days wandering around an airport with his fellow zombies until he is love struck by Julie (Teresa Palmer) after eating her boyfriend’s brain. R’s unusual relationship with Julie sparks a change in him, and he finds himself becoming a little less dead every day.
While romantic comedies usually come across as more cheesy than anything funny, “Warm Bodies” combines two unlikely genres to make a refreshing romantic comedy.
Romance is not overpowering or cheesy and is not the center of attention the entire film, and the comedy does not rely on old or raunchy jokes. Frustration that R experiences as a zombie, torn between his life as a human and his life as a member of the undead, is where most of the film’s comedy comes from. R’s often deep, philosophical thoughts as a zombie are often funny and relatable to even those still living.
“Warm Bodies” does not disappoint when it comes to acting either. Holt and Palmer have excellent chemistry and complement each other. John Malkovich plays Palmer’s father and an important military figure with precision, and Rob Corddry, who plays Holt’s zombie friend M, makes an unconventionally cute zombie. Dave Franco and Analeigh Tipton perform admirably in their roles as Julie’s boyfriend and best friend.
The soundtrack works beautifully and sometimes ironically with the film. Featuring songs from bands like M83, Feist and the National set the mood for scenes and keep up the movies fresh feel.
One of the few negative aspects of the film is the special effects work on the menacing skeletons, adorably nicknamed “bonies,” that eat anything with a heartbeat.
The fact that the skeletons are made using computer-generated imagery is painfully obvious, and their movement is a little too unnatural and sticks out. The “bonies” phony look is not enough to take away from the film’s cool, quirkiness, and it eventually goes unnoticed.
“Warm Bodies” is the lovable, Romeo-and-Juliet-esque outcome of the mash up of two unlikely genres that creates a film that is destined to become a cult classic.
“Warm Bodies” is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and some language.