There is no denying that I enjoy the zombie craze greatly. The popularity of zombies has not, and will never, wear out for me. I like to tell myself that my full enjoyment and obsession with the zombie genre will guarantee myself a survival spot in the impending hypothetical zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, I have heard that the people who are preparing for it the most will, ironically, be among the first to die in the initial outbreak. No doubt, that notion shattered my confidence. With that being said, if I were to become a zombie, I’d very much enjoy being the type of zombie that the movie Warm Bodies portrayed.
I know that the movie is based on a novel, but I don’t necessarily have as much time to read as I would like, so the movie will suffice. I recall seeing previews for this movie and thinking one of two things. Either A) This movie was going to be hilarious and add a new perspective to the zombie genre or B) This movie was going to bomb and be a total mess. Fortunately, it was not the latter.
Simply put, the movie was hilarious. It took me some time to set aside everything I thought I knew about zombies in order to embrace this new portrayal of the undead. Don’t get me wrong, these zombies will still eat your face off if they have the chance, but there is something else that drives them: the desire to feel. It’s a highly unique take on zombies. Have these poor, undead creatures simply been misunderstood this entire time? We better call up Rick Grimes and inform him that all the zombies need is some good ol’ lovin’!
Throughout the movie we get a well-used first person narrative since the main zombie, R, cannot speak—well, at least not perfectly. Thus, we get treated to an inside look as he narrates part of the story to the viewers. It adds a sense of character and hilarity to the plot. It worked very well and helped to give an inside look into the mythology that these particular zombies are built upon. They don’t like eating people, but they have no choice. They can speak, but they don’t have a vocabulary that really extends past “hungry”. Offsetting this unique vision of zombies is a race of creatures known as “Bonies”. Bonies are what happens when a zombie
decomposes to the point of no return; shedding their rotting flesh to appear like a demonic skeleton that eats anything with a beating heart. Ultimately, these are the things everybody, human and zombie, should fear and they become the absolute villain in the film.
The story is nothing epic or huge, but it is well constructed. After a group of humans are attacked by a pack of unloved zombies, something unheard of begins. R suddenly gets the hots for a human girl named Julie. (Does anyone notice something about the names? R and Julie? More on that later…) This causes R to protect her against his own kind, and a very unique phenomenon ensues as the most confusing emotion of all, love, is offered as a possible solution to the zombie problem. Let me add that this movie is in no way like Twilight because I know some will make that comparison naively.
If you can compare anything to Warm Bodies, I would say it is Romeo and Juliette. This aspect does not spoil the movie at all. I had heard about this comparison before seeing the movie, which actually helped me enjoy the movie more. Both of the characters live in different worlds. R has his zombie groupies and Julie is a human with a dad bent on revenge. Love is tossed into this mix and you have two star-crossed lovers trying to defy destiny to be with each other. There is even a scene in the movie that has to be a shout out
to the Shakespearean story. It was also interesting that R wore a red hoodie the entire film because in my experiences red has always symbolized love, passion, and desire. Who knew that Warm Bodies would go all Shakespearean on us? For the record, I hate Shakespeare (unless it involves zombies!).
The acting was varied for me. Some of the actors really pulled off their roles, while I felt that others lacked in depth. It doesn’t necessarily detract from the movie, but I wish some of the acting was a little better, if I had to be honest. At points it felt flat, but I was willing to overlook that for the most part. It seemed to fit the fast pace of the movie. The movie didn’t really allow for strong character development. I didn’t feel entirely attached to R or Julie, but I enjoyed them. I didn’t have any strong feelings for any of the other characters, but oh well! I still enjoyed the concept.
I don’t think this movie was intended to be a deep character analysis film with a complex plot and Oscar-worthy acting. It was meant to be a wild ride accommodated with well-placed humor, while inviting the audience to consider a different perspective on zombies. And you know what? The movie accomplished it really well! It turns out that zombies are highly misunderstood and just need somebody to give them a hug! Now, who is willing to make the first move?
Let me add, that this movie had a fantastic soundtrack that is begging to be united with my iPod. Check it out before you go hug a zombie!
I give this movie 7 out of 10 Bonies
And…that’s a wrap!