Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Warm Bodies - The Big February Surprise - Review


warmbodiesposter.jpgNicholas Hoult stars as R - a teenage zombie in a world where the few non-zombie survivors have barricaded themselves in a large metropolitan city, but still have to go out patrolling to find supplies, and assess what is happening with the zombies.  While his communication skills have been destroyed by the zombie virus and evolution, R still has a sharp mind that has him debating existential questions about life, his future, what has really happened to him and the need to eat human brains.

One day, R and his zombie pals come across one of these human patrols made up of Nora (Annaleigh Tipton),  Perry (Dave Franco) and Julie (Teresa Palmer).  During the mayhem, R sees Julie from across the room and it is true love at first sight.  He saves her, and brings her back to his zombie bachelor pad, but R soon realizes she is having more of an effect on him than he ever imagined.

How could R and Julie ever form a friendship or more?

Will Julie be safe around the other zombies?

Will she try to escape?

Is R turning back into a normal teenager?

Warm Bodies is one of those movies that pleasantly surprises you from scene to scene.

Writer/director Jonathan Levine (based on the novel by Isaac Marion) amazingly meshes so many genres without ever alienating any one of them or overdoing any aspect.   

It's a zombie movie where humans must avoid death and getting their brains eaten, while the zombies have different factions and frictions among them.   

It's a romantic comedy with an awkward teen boy trying to woo the pretty teen girl with various results.

It's an action movie as the zombies chase people and fight scenes break out.

Most of all, it's a well written film with some fun dialogue, great situations where comedy and romance can bloom and characters you want to see again and again.  I don't think I have ever said that a zombie movie has this comforting, likability factor, but Warm Bodies does because Levine has a great, subtle touch when needed and cares about telling a story.  He puts most of the action and gory aspects of a traditional horror movie on the backburner to let Hoult, Palmer and more win us over.
Hoult is a strong leading man.  At first glance, R might be some annoying hipster like 100 other teen looking actors, but he brings a maturity to him that is welcome and entertaining.  Yes, Levine's script helps a great deal with this, but Hoult brings an earnestness to R that makes his teenage crush feel real and important.

Warm Bodies loses some steam in the final act as it becomes more of an action film, but it's still one of the best films in theaters right now.


3 Waffles (Out of 4)

Warm Bodies is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and some language