22. Warm Bodies (PG-13) - Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
After putting this on my list for 2012, I immediately went out and read the book. And I loved it - it was a fun, tongue-in-cheek take on the zombie genre. And when they announced they were pushing this back to 2013, my heart sank a little bit. Was it not good enough? But it seems like this was more a good marketing ploy than anything - setting this movie up around Valentine's Day was genius. And it was a good date night for Maggie & I: we both really enjoyed the movie!
Warm Bodies is narrated by R - he can't remember his name - a zombie who shuffles around an airport along with a lot of other zombies. Although R's unique - he wishes he could be human again, but he can't quite figure out what to do about that. And he collects things - like old records and trinkets he finds. When he ventures out into the city to get some brains, he ends up killing Julie's boyfriend and eating his brain. Brains are kind of like cocaine for zombies - they're fueled by intense memories of the owner of the brain. And somehow R gets injected with love for Julie - so he captures her. It's a funny and heartwarming (literally!) love story that doesn't waste too much time explaining things.
The movie's good humor mostly comes from R's narration - he is a very self-aware zombie and much like R, the movie is very aware that it's another zombie movie. Which is why this "meta" (as the kids call it these days) take on the genre works so well. Without R's narration, the movie might have fallen a bit flat and be too confusing. But instead, there's a lot of great fun hearing R's thoughts as he takes Julie in as his hostage. She eventually realizes that she may have fallen in love with a zombie - but it's not gross, in fact the movie plays it out real sweet.
As for the performances, Nicholas Hoult is awesome (as he usually is!) and Teresa Palmer has quickly grown on me - I've enjoyed her in a lot of movies and I think she's due for a breakout hit sometime soon! And Rob Corddry was great as R's best zombie buddy. John Malkovich is the only weak spot (who knew!) in the movie - he just comes across as flat - and I think it's the performance more than the part!
Despite what you may think - this is a good date movie. There's a lot of great moments and romantic scenes in the movie and mixing up these two genres is actually quite awesome! It's also very funny and seems to hit all the right notes.
Rating: See It!