Directed by Jonathan Levine
Rated: R Run Time: 97 minutes Genre: Comedy/ Horror/ Romance
Opens February 1st
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Now that, the vampire craze has subsided, it is time for the reign of the zombies. Based on the debut novel by Isaac Marion, “Warm Bodies” is a fresh and unique take on the zombie genre, breathing new life in an otherwise favorite genre. Don’t be quick to judge this film to be the next "Twilight"-esq film for the teen genre, as it’s much more (and better written) than it’s fellow monster story predecessor.
Welcome to Earth, post- mysterious illness that turned most of the population into flesh eating, nomadic, soulless zombies that we all know and love. Those who remain left uninfected (still human) now live behind a fortress like structure in the middle of the city, heavily guarded with tons of ammunition led by General Grigio (John Malkovich).
Narrated from the point of view from a zombie who still can manage thoughts, “R” (Nicholas Hoult) spends much of his time wandering aimlessly throughout the airport where he and many other zombies occupy as their home. He is unusual for a zombie as he is capable of thought, appreciates music and is kind of a kleptomaniac. He took over a 747 as his hideout and is his home away from the rest of the world. Most of R’s time in the 747 is spent listening to music, which stirs something unfamiliar within him.
R has managed to find a “friend” among the undead, “M” (Rob Corddry) where they kind of communicate and have as much of a relationship that two zombies who can barley speak can have. When the packs of zombies are not out hunting for food, they try to stay away from the “Bonies”, those that are so far gone as zombies that their bones show through their tautly pulled skin and more sinister than the regular zombies.
While out on a hunt one day, the pack of zombies encounter a human group searching for supplies. The humans open fire, but some of the zombies are too quick. R managed to kill a young man named Perry (Dave Franco), and as he is eating his brains he sees Perry’s girlfriend, Julie (Teresa Palmer) and falls in love at first sight. R kidnaps Julie, yet saves her life by smearing blood on her face to mask her scent to the other zombies. Terrified for her life and reeling from the grief of losing her boyfriend, Julie tries to run away from R, but he saves her again from the zombie pack. Julie slowly warms to R and realizes that there is more to him than just the stiff bodied, grunting zombie. Over the course of a few days, Julie and R develop a friendship, but supplies are running low for Julie and she needs to get home before the Bonies discover her.
At an overnight stop, R confesses to Julie about what actually happened to Perry, and she leaves him in the middle of the night. R realizes that Julie is bringing on exponential change within him and that there may be a cure for what the condition is. He must find Julie before she ends up as a meal for a zombie or a bonie.
Every once in a while, a film comes along reviving the interest in a certain type of genre, completely breaking the mold in terms of entertainment, storytelling and audience interest. Director Jonathan Levine does a phenomenal job bringing the popular graphic novel "Warm Bodies" to life. With any book to screen transition, there's bound to be differences but Levine's take on the story is unique, refreshing and is able to command the audience's attention with the musical selections of the soundtrack combined with the self deprecating internal dialogue of the story's protagonist, R. The story is almost philosophical in nature, posing many questions that can be debated about well after the film ends. Some parts of the film do resemble part of beloved stories, like “Romeo & Juliet” or “Wall-e”, but with the many layers of the film, it all works. The film is engaging and will make the viewer hungry for more after the credits roll. Be sure to check out “Warm Bodies” when in opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday February 1, 2013.