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DVD/Blu-ray review: FTN reviews Warm Bodies

June 10th, 2013 by Marc Comments

Warm Bodies (15)
Directed by:
Jonathan Levine
Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and Analeigh Tipton
Running time:
Released on DVD & Blu-ray (UK): June 17

After the world falls under the weight of a full on zombie invasion the survivors lock themselves in walled cities, going out routinely for supplies etc, but when a zombie starts to fall for one of his prey, the balance of power begins to shift…

Dead Bodies is a missed opportunity. It really is. That’s not to say it’s terrible, it’s just not very good.

While it brings some new parts to the zombie mythology – the explanation of why they eat brains is a little fanciful and a nice idea but belongs firmly in the realms of guff. And it also sets up a kind of third group in the wake of a zombie apocalypse – the bonies. Creatures so aggressive that even the zombies fear them. And this is one of the few parts of this movie I actually really, well, liked.

Nicholas Hoult, star of X-Men: First Class, Skins and About A Boy, is lost at sea a little here (and is channeling Tom Cruise at an alarming rate) as a unique, lovelorn zombie ‘R’ who falls for the pretty human Teresa Palmer’s Julie.

But, while the premise is a gem of a set-up, the delivery is somewhat stale, floating uneasily between comedy and straight-faced horror, the movie is something of a game of two halves. Sadly the two are what could have been and what actually is.

There’s a mythology here that truly deserves better. I felt the same way about Will Smith’s movie Hancock a few years back – not a total disaster but a waste of a great idea and potential mythology that was begging to be explored.

The idea that there are creatures that zombies fear is a great one, and it’s not vampires or werewolves or any similar gothic horrors, but rather something that comes from the horror of a world where the walking dead are winning and makes sense. However, rather than truly explore this idea, these creatures become a plot device and little else.

Also, the reason why R begins to fall for Julie is the absolute meat and bones (sorry) of the story but it becomes nothing but the set-up for a half-assed loved story. And as for the SPOILER way his regrowing humanity spreads across the zombie community? Makes no sense at all. And I can’t help feeling this is something that was explored in Isaac Marion’s novel, it disappoints that here is is glazed over in such a non-commital way SPOILER ENDS.

Sadly, for anyone who thinks the premise is interesting – and it is – you’d be better looking for BBC Three’s drama In The Flesh as it’s a much more successful take on the concepts introduced here.

Warm Bodies is entertaining enough; there’s little to really hate. The leads are cute and John Malkovich’s performance is apt, the effects work is good, but ultimately, no matter what the scenario, a simple love story will always be just that.

It’s a movie that is happy to rest on its laurels, to simply be ok when it could have been a fresh bite out of an old story. OK to pass a couple of hours, but when there’s The Walking Dead and In The Flesh on TV, you can’t help feeling they were just aiming for the Twilight fans. Shame, really.

2 out of 5 Nerds

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….