Zombie-flick “Warms” Hearts

By Brian Duskey

February 7, 2013

It’s like “Twilight,” with a story.

courtesy of  http://www.nonstophonolulu.com

courtesy of http://www.nonstophonolulu.com

In actuality, Jonathan Levine’s zombie-flick resembles a more famous romantic tale.

Instead of borrowing it’s characters from Stephenie Meyers’ vampire series, it borrows them from William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy “Romeo & Juliet.”

This wasn’t a terrible idea.

Through clever comedy and a general feeling of fun, “Warm Bodies” will be a success with audiences.

A lot of the media has been in fear, by comparing this latest zombie-flick to the vampire love tales of “Twilight” but it leans more towards Shakespearian tragedy with the two lovers in this journey named “R” and “Julie.” Ring a bell?

If that isn’t enough to sway you, R has a comedic and free-spirited friend named “M” (Mercutio, anyone?) and Julie’s father is very disapproving of R and wants him dead. Seriously, that’s Capulet. Oh, and her best friend is Nora. Pretty close to “Nurse.” Just saying.

This all works, though. The film is pure entertainment. There are a lot of plot holes and characteristics involved that don’t make much sense or seem ridiculous, but the audience shouldn’t really care.

Putting logistics into a film like this would be like trying to figure out why spinach makes Popeye that much stronger. There’s no need for it.

The base of the story is that R, who can’t remember his entire name, is a zombie who spends his days at an airport finding human flesh to feed upon. When he eats the heart of “Perry”, he gains Perry’s knowledge and memory. There’s that craziness I mentioned.

Perry was actually the boyfriend of Julie, so therefore he develops a strong love for her. This sets up a lot of well-executed jokes and awkward situations between many of the characters.

Both the lead actors, Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, do a good job. They both have great comedic timing and they earn their paychecks. Rob Corddry, who plays M, is the “X-Factor” of the film as he creates some great laughs and generates an overall enjoyable presence on-screen.

John Malkovich plays Julie’s father who is a military general of sorts and is leading the hunt against the zombies. It’s pretty obvious that he isn’t putting too much effort into the role and is just treating it as another paycheck, but it still works.

Director Jonathan Levine puts forth a sold effort with this film, but there were still some flaws and inconsistencies. With his last film (50/50), Levine was able to put out a story that was funny but also really tugged at the heart, this wasn’t the case.

I understand that this was just a zombie-flick romantic comedy fun time, but Levine was never really able to find a for-sure identity with the film.

There were moments where it felt like a well-written romantic comedy, but then it would switch to a full-out zombie film for 20 minutes or so. There wasn’t a real consistency of style within the film.   Yet at the same time, it’s hard to really hold the film accountable for much of anything. The purpose of it is to just be a fun time had with some laughs. Does it succeed at that? Yes, very much so.

All in all, “Warm Bodies” is worth the admission price. It has it’s flaws, but it is better than a majority of the films out there right now, and it is definitely the best choice for a Valentines Day trip to the theater. Go see this film and fall madly in love. With Zombies.