Review by Tres
This is my first major review for our site LTBM. In viewing a new release the selection was made for me by my 16 year-old daughter when she begged me to take her and a couple of her friends to see Warm Bodies. Now, I will give a warning that it seems like I am one of the few people in this country that hasn’t jumped onto the zombie band wagon. I can do vampires, werewolves, and really any other “monster”, but zombies have never been my thing. With that said, and without me giving everything away about this movie, since you might still spend your money on it, let me discuss some points about the movie.
You have 3 main focal groups in this movie: humans, zombies, and bonies. Humans have obviously never been bitten to get this dreaded and contagious disease. Zombies have been bitten and have to survive on eating raw flesh. Bonies are past zombies that everything inside has decayed and they peel off their human skin shell.
I will look at 3 negatives first: I am a sixth-grade science and health teacher, so there were times that my brain kept shifting to different aspects… besides the idea that I was watching zombies. One was how zombies move so slow and stiff, like rigor mortis is setting in their muscles and joints, which seems logical; however, they can suddenly take off sprinting and athletically attacking their food supply, aka humans. Bonies, who are portrayed as dried up zombies without skin (so basically walking black skeletons with very little muscle mass), can run faster than any other beings… though they don’t really have much muscle; just not sure how that works. The second negative for me is the looseness of the grunting versus talking of zombies. R, the main zombie, explains to the audience as he narrates how they simply forget to talk and just grunt except one word here or there that they may remember how to say. Yet in different places in the movie, zombies say sentences, though staggering their words. My thinking, if you can’t remember how to talk, then you can’t remember how to talk. The final negative is the CGI of the bonies. At times they just didn’t look real. (I laugh to myself as I even write that.)
The positives for me far outweighed the negatives though. R is an endearing flesh eating zombie. (Another internal laugh there.) Nicholas Hoult has been around since a young man with his first major role in “About a Boy” with Hugh Grant. However, his big noticeable roll was as Beast in X-Men: First Class. He is also playing Jack in next month’s release: Jack the Giant Slayer. He’s a solid actor. He proves this not by how he delivers his narration smoothly inside his mind of the character R, but how well he acts with his facial and body expressions without words. You actually feel for a character that has very little spoken dialogue until the end of the movie. His counterpart is a pretty believable Julie, played by Teresa Palmer. Teresa got her start in horror movies like many actors and actresses, but had a couple of break out roles in 2011 when she played number 6 in “I am Number 4” and the desired Tori in “Take Me Home Tonight” with Topher Grace.
The other 2 stand out roles are M played by Rob Corddry. Rob has a couple of sporadic moments that cause out loud combustions of laughter that he adds in the movie; as I have come to expect from his characters. Rob plays R’s seemingly only sole friend that does a lot of grunting with him. The other is John Malkovich. I find that with John you either like him or you don’t. For me, there are few movies that he has been in that I haven’t enjoyed. He plays Julie’s over protective and very judgmental father, Grigio. He also happens to be the military leader of the remaining humans.
There is a very obvious love/attraction that is going on in this movie. It’s pretty easy to follow, and at time a little predictive. There is one corny “R and Julie” scene that as it’s being set up…you know it just has to happen. But the underlining story is one that has stuck in my mind more than anything. It tries to show that no matter what, some people can truly change. Even with your life experiences, as those of Grigio’s, and you are certain people cannot change, something happens that convinces you otherwise.
I find this to be a Godly thought in a unique presentation. The Jewish nation believed that Gentiles could never be saved. Christians believed sinners could never be saved. However, Jesus knew that all people could change given the proper motivation. God offers us peace and eternal rest if we turn from the world and simply follow in the path of his son. In this movie, though most people don’t believe it is ever possible, the lost members of society to zombie-ism can indeed change… if simply given the chance. How?…. Not going to tell you.
Overall, this was a decent movie. I’m giving it a 3 star. It wasn’t what I would consider a great movie where I want to rush out and own it as soon as it’s released (those are 4 star movies for me). Nor is it an awesome movie that I would be willing to pay a theatre ticket for on more than one occasion before I could purchase it. However, good?… Yes Decent?… yes it was. A waste of my money… not at all. A decent movie in my book, worth the one time ticket… so a 3 is where I stand. My 16 year old daughter however, gives it a 5.
If anything, I was finally educated on a multi-decade question of mine: Why zombies eat brains?
But…. I’ll let you find out why for yourself when you go to see Warm Bodies.
Best line in the movie: “Oh, are you still bleeding?”… a head nod yes… “Good!”