Jonathan Levine directs Warm Bodies, based on the novel by Isaac Marion, centred on an unlikely bond formed between a zombie and normal human, leading to a set of unforeseen events, the film stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob Corddry and Dave Franco. Warm Bodies is a zombie film with a difference and a premise that sets it apart straight away, humans survive in a world with zombies but the zombies themselves also live in fear of feral, wilder zombies who can eat them and anything else they want to.
The world set up here is an interesting one with its take on zombie fiction and its own lore and it’s a credit to an ambitious idea which aims to expand on a popular sub genre, the story may feel a bit familiar of course, a sort of twisted tale of Romeo and Juliet but it’s still executed well and makes for an engaging plot. From the contrasting world of the humans and the zombies to their ongoing war, the world created here is alive and feels fresh. While the characters get brought to life by some pretty good performances, the expressive and emotional Nicholas Hoult plays against type as the zombie R, dead and emotionless though he does get to change things up as the plot progresses, while Theresa Palmer is brilliant as Juliet, enthusiastic, hopeful and a morally good person. Making for some interesting contrast with some rather unlikeable characters like Perry, played by Dave Franco, the zombies are the villains as seen by people but people can also be pretty awful and that point is sort of made in the story.
There’s a fair amount of comedy present as well in the plot, a decidedly lighter tone zombie film of course with the use of voiceovers for R, funny situations characters find themselves in and humorous dialogue between characters, even R and M (Rob Corddry) as zombies have some funny, non-verbal scenes and good chemistry. And Warm Bodies works as a comedy and a fun, enjoyable watch, with some darker, serious moments as well peppered in the story which don’t necessarily feel too out of place either, bringing a nice balance to things. And despite the generally warm, light tone to the film, you do get reminded of the situation and that humans and zombies can’t really co-exist, the plot expands on the rules of its own world as it progresses, culminating in a conclusion that may feel a bit too predictable and sentimental to some, but I think it’s fitting for this type of story. There’s an interesting emotional core to the story with R and Juliets’ fledgling romance and you do really root for them all the way.
And despite feeling like a story you’ve seen before, Warm Bodies is still a fun watch and a spin on the traditional forbidden love story, with some great performances and good writing to make an overall fun romp.
. Interesting set of characters
. Good writing, fun dialogue
. Predictable but engaging plot