"Warm Bodies" bills itself as a sort of "anti-zombie movie" zombie movie. In this post-apocalyptic world, zombification is reversible through the power of love. Being a new family man myself, my mind was ready for a sunshine-and-love, sesame street kind of life-affirming zombie movie. Zombies just need a little love and understanding, okay?
Nicholas Hoult stars as "R", a semi-conscious zombie who narrates the story of his life hanging around all undead in an airport terminal. Things are pretty dull for him until he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), as they're both out scouting for food with their respective parties (well, Julie's party IS the food, and they mostly get eaten). R rescues Julie and takes her back to hide in his "house" which is an old, abandoned jet airliner. The two sit around listening to rock-n-roll records while a montage shows Julie doing cute, quirky things with the bashful yet hunky zombie. Meanwhile, Julie's dad (John Malkovich), the leader of the human camp, is searching for Julie. He's a relentless zombie hunter who shoots them on sight (so R better watch it). As R and Julie (R-omeo and Juliet?) fall in love, R begins to change and the zombification disease begins to fade from his body. To quote Gene Simmons, "Dr. Love has the cure you're thinking of".
I was expecting Warm Bodies to be a quirky little romantic zombie comedy (or rom-zom-com if you want to get cute), maybe in the vein of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. But Warm Bodies feels kind of tired and cliched, in spite of it's unusual take on the genre. It starts off promising but quickly delves into well-worn, predictable action/chase scenery that follows the familiar paint-by-numbers pattern. It's unfortunate, because I wanted to like this movie more than I actually did. I feel there's still a place in this world for a happy zombie movie, this just isn't it.
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