Unconventional zombie protagonist gives life to love flick

Feb. 11, 2013

Samantha Morley
smorley2@uccs.edu

Falling in love is hard enough without a craving for brains.

“Warm Bodies,” adapted from Isaac Marion’s novel, applies this lesson to a zombified protagonist who unexpectedly becomes enamored with a human.

R (Nicholas Hoult) encounters an attractive girl, Julie (Teresa Palmer), and begins to feel a literal transformation in the core of his heart.

After viciously attacking Julie’s boyfriend (Dave Franco), R devours the brains of the dead lover and gains warm memories of a time before the zombie apocalypse.

Afterward, R saves and kidnaps Julie and holes her up in his home, an airplane clustered with vintage records and memorabilia.

He struggles with his inner creepiness in his attempt to woo the shaken girl. The two gradually warm to each other’s company and become pals.

The progression of the film is smooth and quick during the first half but becomes painfully slow when Julie and R begin their pursuit of persuading humans and zombies to cooperate. The movie would have maintained viewer concentration if it kept to its original pace.

Otherwise, the film inspired a new idea of romance between those living and risen from the dead. The fresh concept was enough to keep me and others amused enough to sit through the entire 97 minutes, which felt longer than it was.

The movie offers the best of both worlds for viewers interested in the annihilation of the undead. Aside from the first 20 minutes, zombies were scarcely shot to bits. Instead, zombies and humans teamed up to kill “bonies,” the next stage of death for zombies.

The lovey-dovey viewers also get a healthy dose of romance when R and Julie cultivate their relationship.

Zombies, romance and comedy make up the intrigue of this movie. Audiences get to experience the insight into R’s mind as he narrates his every thought.

Viewers begin to understand zombies as critical thinkers instead of mindless, brain-eating corpses. Switching to rooting for humans and zombies to overtake the evil bonies then becomes a challenge.

There is disappointment, however, in the fact that the movie sticks to characters that are similar to teenage romance sagas such as Twilight.

Palmer, for example, looks like a compilation of Kristen Stewart and Scarlett Johansson. She is cute, spunky and can (thankfully) act, but she is a common character that plays into the female desperation role for a good portion of the film.

Hoult, on the other hand, still portrays a typical teenage boy, but his ability to display emotion without much verbal assistance is something to be appreciated.

“Warm Bodies” contains enough gore to keep zombie fanatics enticed but also plenty of scenes containing heartwarming events that inspire our inherent desire for love. Dead or alive, this movie proves that, as long you aren’t a “bony,” you can be cured by love.

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