Movie Review: WARM BODIES

PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount


Review: Warm Bodies / Cert: 12A / Director: Jonathan Levine / Screenplay: Jonathan Levine/ Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob Corddry / Release Date: Out Now

Fears that Jonathan Levine’s film version of Isaac Marion’s quirky romantic horror novel Warm Bodies might turn into some insipid zombie Twilight knock-off are mercifully unfounded. Levene’s movie is an amusing, affectionate and largely non-threatening love story set against the unlikely backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. On the downside, it also comes across as a bit underpowered and anaemic, its jokes never quite funny enough and its ultimate message of redemption and salvation and everyone just getting along a little too sickly for many palettes. But look at that 12A certificate; what did you expect, The Walking Dead?

R (Hoult) – he’s forgotten his real name and anything about his former life – is a zombie shuffling aimlessly around a devastated airport terminal along with hundreds of other undead. An attack by human survivors leads to R meeting up with the terrified Julie (Palmer) after he’s eaten her boyfriend’s brains and ingested his memories. Despite being dead, R is smitten and he takes it upon himself to keep Julie safe, smuggling her aboard an abandoned aircraft he’s turned into a makeshift home and protecting her from his fellow zombies and the degenerate, skeletal 'bonies’ which the undead eventually devolve into. Slowly R begins to reconnect with his lost humanity and Julie discovers that being dead doesn’t necessarily mean an end to being human.

Hoult’s a triumph as zombie R; his dialogue is full of grunts and half-formed words and he masters the zombie shuffle with aplomb. But his relationship with Julie – she’s a forgiving kind of girl considering R devoured her loving boyfriend’s brain – tends to drag the film down and the resulting gags (including a rather obvious Romeo and Juliet balcony parody) are rarely as sharp as they need to be. John Malkovich is underused as Julie’s trigger-happy Dad and the ‘bonies’, better-animated CGI zombies reminiscent of the ‘vampires’ from I Am Legend, are a decent threat exterminated all too easily.

Warm Bodies deserves some kudos for managing to pull off the difficult ‘feelgood horror movie’ trick but in the end there’s a certain irony in the fact that a film whose main protagonist has severe communication difficulties struggles to realise the potential so clearly present in its clever and original storyline.

Expected Rating: 6 out of 10

Actual Rating: 

Suggested Articles:
James Cullen Bressack is a writer/director/producer/editor and almost anything else you can think of
Blue Jean (Walker) is a former baseball player who has been eking out a living as the owner/propriet
A film that begins with a creepy, dancing Ron Jeremy cameo and ends with the rape of a young woman b
When he’s caught trying to scam his own employers out of a few million dollars, Wall Street hotsho
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Other articles in Movie Reviews

BETHANY 28 February 2017

PEELERS 23 February 2017

VOODOO 23 February 2017

A CURE FOR WELLNESS 23 February 2017

KING COBRA [London Film Festival] 22 February 2017

HIDDEN FIGURES 18 February 2017

BLOODRUNNERS 13 February 2017

MY FATHER DIE 13 February 2017

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 09 February 2017

SUN CHOKE 07 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!