Release Date: Feb. 1, 2013
Running Time: 97 minutes
When William Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, he likely did not think his timeless tragedy would be re-imagined 400 years later as a zom-com for TwiHards. In Warm Bodies, our Romeo is a very nice zombie who is known only as “R” (Nicholas Hoult) because he can’t remember his name. Our Juliet is zombie apocalypse survivor Julie (Teresa Palmer). She’s obviously afraid of the undead, but “R” isn’t like any zombie she’s tried to shoot in the head. He collects knickknacks and listens to vintage rock. He also has a conscience. After eating the brains of Julie’s ex-boyfriend (Dave Franco), and absorbing his memories, “R” falls hard for Julie and vows to protect from his own as he escorts her back to the barricaded city she calls home. Jonathan Levine previously directed the Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer dramedy 50/50, and he approaches Warm Bodies with the same level of humor and compassion. Levine places an emphasis on the developing romance between our star-crossed lovers rather than trying to top The Walking Dead in both gore and body count. As a parable about how love can thaw even the coldest of hearts, Warm Bodies wins us over with its sincere belief that “R” and Julie can live happily ever after despite their differences. As “R,” Hoult stumbles around the ruined world around him not so much like a zombie but as a tongue-tied, self-conscious teenager who doesn’t know how to act on or display his feelings. He captures the queasy sensation of first love without allowing any awkwardness to get the better of him. Palmer brings to the role of Julie the empathy and curiosity that’s necessary for her understandably apprehensive young woman to see “R” for who is and what he can be. Together, Hoult and Palmer make a sweet couple, and they put forth a persuasive case that “R” and Julie deserve a better fate than their 16th-century counterparts. Warm Bodies is another literary adaptation of a bestselling YA romance by Summit, the studio behind The Twilight Saga. One has to wonder how different The Twilight Saga would have turned out had two actors that shared an obvious emotional connection, as Hoult and Palmer do, starred as Edward and Bella.
Aired: Jan. 31, 2013
Web site: http://WarmBodiesMovie.tumblr.com/