Reel Rating: 4 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for zombie violence and some language
Released in Theaters: Feb. 1, 2013
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Runtime: 97 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich
Official Site: “Warm Bodies”
If seeing lots of gore and blood in zombie movies isn’t your thing, you might like “Warm Bodies.” It’s really more of a sweet teen romance than a zombie movie. That’s partly because it breaks the “zombie movie code” by creating a cure for the zombies, so it’s not all doom and gloom. I like movies with happy endings, especially zombie movies with happy endings, so this movie is just the thing.
“Warm Bodies” starts out much the same as other zombie movies, in that there’s been some sort of apocalypse, which results in lots of pale, lifeless zombies shuffling aimlessly around. Many of them have taken up residence in an abandoned airport, possibly — as our zombie hero “R” (Nicholas Hoult) tells us — because airports are a place to “wait” for something else to happen. He’s just not sure what he’s supposed to do next, but one thing is for sure — he’s lonely. He also feels conflicted whenever he has to eat someone.
During a hunting expedition with his best friend “M” (Rob Corddry), R and his zombie friends attack a group of heavily armed young adults who are out on a scouting mission. R kills the group’s leader, Perry (Dave Franco), and is immediately drawn to his victim’s girlfriend, Julie (Teresa Palmer).
To save Julie from the other zombies, R takes her back to his place (an abandoned airplane), and something starts to happen. As the two connect with each other, R’s heart starts to stir and he begins to recapture his humanity. Unfortunately, Julie’s dad is General Grigio (John Malkovich), the leader of the local militia who’s out to kill all the zombies. He would never condone Julie’s friendship with a corpse.
“Warm Bodies” is from Summit Entertainment, the studio behind all the “Twilight” movies. I’m not sure if zombies are the next vampires or not, but this movie is a lot of fun and, as previously mentioned, not as gross as other zombie movies. It’s definitely nowhere near as bloody as the AMC show “The Walking Dead.”
“Warm Bodies” is based on the young adult novel by Isaac Marion, which helps to give the movie a bit of a backstory. It also features a great soundtrack of classics like John Waite’s “Missing You,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart,” along with more modern tunes from Feist, Chad Valley, and Delta Spirit.
Nicholas Hoult, who started his movie career as the kid in “About a Boy” and also starred in the U.K. series “Skins,” is surely the “next big thing.” He’s adorable and has that appealing boy-next-door vibe. He also has great chemistry with Teresa Palmer, who is perhaps best known as “Number 6″ in the teen alien thriller “I Am Number Four.” She’s adorable, too. Together, they’re adorable times two.
The script for “Warm Bodies” is witty and fun, and I also appreciate that there’s not a lot of people to keep track of. Corddry is funny as R’s best friend, Analeigh Tipton is great as Julie’s best friend, and Malkovich is his usual Malkovich self.
Overall, “Warm Bodies” is a great date movie, but also a well-acted, well-written book adaptation that appeals to both teens and grownups. With a weekend box office of $20 million, we’ll no doubt have a sequel or two to look forward to.
Sex/Nudity: It’s unclear how old the kids are, but they’re either teens or in their early 20s. A few kissing scenes, flirting and hand-holding. In one scene, Julie is so cold in her wet clothes that she strips down to her bra and panties (as R watches) and climbs under the covers to get dry. She tells R he can sleep on the floor in the room where she’s sleeping.
Violence/Gore: The “bonies” are scary looking zombies who no longer have any flesh on their bodies. They’re frightening and chase people around, hoping to catch and eat them. A few scenes show zombies attacking humans, but no major gore is shown. R and his pals kill a bunch of young adults, and we see R eating his catch’s brains. Humans form a militia to hunt and kill zombies. Zombies are pale and lifeless, and are shown shuffling around. A zombie is shot and begins to bleed.
Profanity: Several uses of “sh*t,” as well as “a**hole,” one “f*ck,” and “hell,” “ass,” “crap,” “oh my God,” and “bitch.”
Drugs/Alcohol: It’s unclear how old Julie is, but she drinks a Corona beer that R offers her.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.