Remember back in the 80’s (1987 to be exact), there was a little romantic movie called “Mannequin” that starred Brat Packer, Andrew McCarthy, and then unknown Kim Cattrall. It was essentially a date movie about a guy who falls in love with a store mannequin that comes to life after the store she lives in closes overnight. Now…take that idea except add zombies, throw in a dash of comedy (a la “Zombieland”) and POOF! You have “Warm Bodies,” a quiet little comedy about love after death. Truth be told, much like all other zombie movies, there is a lot of social commentary in this film as well. I still haven’t decided if it’s on purpose or not, but I will let that sit as I describe the goings on in this little Valentine’s Day gem.
R (played by Nicholas Hoult) is your normal, everyday zombie. He walks around all day & night, he doesn’t dream, he doesn’t think…he just wanders, looking for food and hoping that someday he’ll remember his name (he’s pretty sure it begins with the letter “R”…but he’s not positive). One day, he and his pack of zombie friends come upon a group of teens who are out scavenging for medical supplies. R eats one of the boys in the group and, as he eats his brains, he starts to see the memories of the guy he’s munching on. In those memories, he finds himself drawn to one of the girls of the group, Julie (Teresa Palmer). Julie is the daughter of one of the leaders of the humans and R helps her escape from being lunch on this particular day. They then strike up an unusual friendship that causes R to change in unlikely ways. From there, it’s a race for survival with R saving Julie, Julie saving R and Rob Corddry kicking CGI-skeleton zombie ass!
I realize you have no idea what that last line means but that’s okay…you gotta leave something for a surprise…right? And surprisingly, this little film wasn’t that bad! It’s a pleasant little romance of a movie that carries it’s own weight despite there being a glut of “zombie apocalypse” media happening right now. Is it awesomely terrific? No. But is it a pleasant date-night surprise? Absolutely! The cast is terrific (John Malkovich plays Julie’s dad, Rob Corddry is R’s best zombie friend), the soundtrack is excellent and it is a pleasant surprise for a February flick (with February usually known as the “Dead Zone” for movies released during the DEAD of winter). With very little gore, not a lot of scares and an attractive cast, this ain’t a bad way to spend an evening with your significant other. Will it win an Oscar? Doubtfully. But was I entertained? Yes. Check it out as a matinee or a rental. You won’t be sorry!
Overall Rating: C+