Warm Bodies: Film Review
Well, well: a supernatural teenage trans-species love story that is actually good? Even occasionally great? Yup. Put down the pitchforks, Twilight fans. This is one movie that proves teen love can do more than make you want to split your vampire coffin open. This is, quite simply, the anti-Twilight.
At its heart (and it surprisingly has a lot of it), Warm Bodies is about how a zombie becomes humanized when he is shown kindness by a human girl who reserves judgment of his monstrous ways. Now, you might be thinking, well, that’s pretty dumb. He’s a friggin’ zombie, for crap’s sake. Yes, R (Nicholas Hoult) does things like eat human brains and speak in a manner that sounds like orgasmic moaning, but it isn’t his fault. He’s been rendered that way thanks to an epidemic that left much of the world’s population as zombies. But he sort of remembers what it was like to be human. Sort of.
And then there’s Julie, the sweet and smiling pretty girl who is saved by R from an zombie attack. She sees him as something more than a monster, and soon the two of them are thinking of each other as friends. One of them might even want to be more than friends. Is that weird? Sure it is. But it isn’t cloying or emotionally stultifying like the Twilight series was. If you’re hoping I’ll stop bashing the Bella-Edward love story, fine. Let it be enshrined at this year’s Razzies.
Warm Bodies is just right in its deft touch: tender without being sentimental, and funny without being farcical. Much of the credit belongs to lead actor Nicholas Hoult, whom you will remember as the troubled boy of About a Boy and the gay teen in A Single Man. He really sinks his teeth, so to speak, into this role, making it something to relish. He’s art Romeo, part Lone Ranger, and part Frankenstein. And that, believe it or not, is just right.