Movie Title: Warm Bodies
Director: Jonathan Levine
Date Released: February 1st, 2013
Date Seen: January 9th, 2013 (Advanced Screening)
Seen with: Michael (best friend) and Anna (sister)
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
If Romeo and Juliet lived in a zombie infested world – that would be this movie – if you added in a nice dose of comedy, and took out the sword fights. The movie takes a different perspective than your typical zombie movies; the protagonist is a zombie and we hear his thoughts. In this zombie world, the zombies appear to have some type of thought process, although basic and have no memories. But they begin to evolve and change due to R, the protagonist, played by Nicholas Hoult. He starts to fall for a still human girl, Julie (Teresa Palmer) and shit happens. Of course, Teresa’s father, General Grigio (John Malkovich) is the head of the new community and is on team kill all the zombies, so you can see where there’s a bit of a problem. The movie is still a zombie movie, so there’s a tiny bit of “gore” if you want to call it that. I’d say there’s none. You see a zombie biting another guys arm…. and that’s about it. It’s not bloody at all. The movie focuses much more on the zombie-human relationship than anything…. so think of it as a zom-rom-com, rather than a “zombie” movie.
If you want an idea of what the movie is sort of like, here’s a video of the first four minutes. They’re pretty funny.
There are some pretty hilarious one liners – such as the “aw man, don’t pick at it, you’ll make it worse” in the above video – as well as just some hilarious things that come out of the zombies mouths later. I won’t spoil them for you. Because now, having thought about the movie a bit, I’ve realized that this movie was hilarious mostly for the shock value – you weren’t expecting some of the things the zombies or other characters said. That made them 100x more funny, than if we would have expected it. I feel like, unfortunately, that if I watched the movie again, I wouldn’t find it as funny. Then as time goes on, those moments would just be kind of bleh. Without those moments of surprise, the movie is still alright, but not one that I’d watch again and again. Just a few times. My sister, Anna, loved this movie and will probably slap me for saying that – but this is my page, so she can suck it.
The plot is overall predictable. I enjoyed the “Bonies” – which were like uber-zombies. I like the idea that there is something worse that even the zombies are creeped out by. I do think that R went from grunting zombie to speaking some words zombie VERY fast. This could have been because it was based on a book, and so there might be more of that development in the book. The movie though was pretty short (only 97 minutes) so it could have done with a bit more development on that part. Those scenes were fun to watch, so I wouldn’t have minded them. I did love the character of “M” (Rob Corddry). He is R’s zombie best friend and he is hilarious. Every scene with him in it was great. The other zombies were kind of meh, because you never get to know any of them.
Part 2 – In-Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
So here’s a mini synopsis. It’s Romeo and Juliet with zombies. Without the tragic ending.
Here’s a slightly longer synopsis.
R is a zombie. He has a best friend named M. They live in the airport. They’re zombies. We also learn about Bonies, who are like zombies who just don’t give a shit anymore, rip all their flesh off and will hunt and eat anything with a pulse and not feel bad about it. They also seem to be significantly faster than normal zombies. So one day R and M and some other zombies go out because they’re hungry. They find Julie and her friends and they kill pretty much everyone. One girl (Julie’s best friend, who wants to be a nurse….. another romeo and juliet reference) survives by hiding. R eats Julie’s boyfriend, Pierce. Here we learn about how when you eat someone’s brain you get their memories. Since zombies don’t sleep, it’s the closest thing that they get to dreams. R sees Julie, falls in love, saves her from the other zombies by putting some of his zombie goo on her (blood, you pervs), and takes her with him. He takes her to his airplane that he lives in. He kind of collects stuff he finds at places.
Some days go by with at first Julie being very scared of R but starts to find out he’s different. He doesn’t want her to leave and gets out the words that it’s “not safe” outside. All the zombies are kind of milling around. But they start to die off. One day, while R goes to get Julie some food, Julie runs off. She gets cornered by zombies but R saves her again. They keep hanging out, getting closer, and eventually decide Julie can go home. As they are escaping, the Bonies start chasing them. So do a couple of the zombies. M even tries to eat Julie, but R saves her again. M sees how Julie and R are holding hands and something kind of clicks inside him. It starts to happen to the other zombies as well. Julie and R leave, leaving the zombies all kind of staring at this romantic poster, and start to have their heart “come alive” again. Julie and R drive close to where the humans are held up – a kind of walled off area of the city, run by her father. They sleep outside the walls in an abandoned house. That night Julie finds out that it was R who ate Pierce and gets all upset. In the middle of the night she leaves. We also see the Bonies kind of threaten the newly “awakened” (if you want to call it that) zombies. Uh oh. So they start heading out to find R. They find him the next day, and ask where Julie is. R explains that she left. Then comes the funniest line in the movie…. M says “bitches, man.” It was great because you weren’t expecting it, and it was the first real thing his character said. Greatness. They tell R about the bonies and how they’re coming – and they think they’re going after the humans. So R goes to find Julie. He remembers something from Pierce’s memory (when he ate his brain) about a side unguarded hole in the wall. So he goes through there.
He finds Julie at home, out on the balcony. She had been telling best friend about R. Best friend didn’t understand the relationship at all. But after a balcony scene between R and Juliet, best friend comes out and sees R. They bring him in, and R tells them about the Bonies that are coming. They decide they have to warn Julie’s dad. So first they start to dress up R so he looks less zombie-ish. Quite hilarious actually. They go, find Julie’s dad, he doesn’t believe them, then sees that R is there and that he’s a zombie, and goes after him. Julie’s best friend hits the dad over the head, letting R and Julie escape.
Next is a big epic battle of the bonies coming up on the city, the humans racing out, chasing after R and Julie, and then everyone fighting. At first the humans kill some zombies, then figure out they are helping them. They inform the now awake and super pissed captain guy (Julie’s dad) who still doesn’t believe it and wants to kill zombies. But humans and zombies in the actual battle fight alongside one another against the bonies. It was kind of funny sometimes. Julie and R get cornered by Bonies, and R holds Julie close to him and jumps off the side of a building into a fountain below, taking the full impact on his body. When they surface, they are both ok, and start to almost kiss. Julie’s dad shows up and is pointing a gun at R telling Julie to get away. R moves in front of Julie and the dad shoots him. She is all pissed and screaming about how could her dad do that, he was changing, and blah blah blah, and look now he’s bleeding… wait.. what? HE’S BLEEDING OMG HE’S HUMAN AGAIN!
And that’s pretty much the movie. We get a little epilogue about how all the zombies started getting more human over time, and were relearning the skills they had lost (hilarious scene of a guy teaching a zombie how to play catch), M hitting on a girl kind of awkwardly but adorably at the same time, and R and Julie living happily ever after.
I had a great time with this movie – it was well shot, funny, and kept my attention. It’d be a good date movie, hang out with friends movie, and keep on the shelf for an occasional drunken viewing.