On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Warm Bodies

2013/ USA

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry

In the past few years there has been Zombie hype. From comedy films such as Zombieland, to the TV series, The Walking Dead. However, none have been set out in the format that Warm Bodies, directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), is. From a Zombie’s perspective.

R, the main character, and Zombie, played by Nicholas Hoult (X-Men First Class, Clash of the Titans), is a Zombie who has a mind of his own. The whole film is narrated first person from his point of view. R is a zombie who develops feelings for Julie, Teresa Palmer (I Am Number 4, Wish You Were Here). These feelings allow R to come back to life as it were, a reverse Zombie effect, if you like. Finally a cure for the Zombies.  Can a zombie find solace with another person and love? That is the main theme of this movie, and to be honest, a very good one.

R vows to get Julie to fall in love with him, so protects her from other Zombies and other creatures (Spoiler Alert so I wont go into them).  As always in these Zombie films, there is a fortress for the humans, (think 28 Days Later). Here the resistance to the Zombies is based, headed none other by Julie’s dad Grigio, played by John Malkovich (Burn After Reading, R.E.D.). As always Malkovich plays the stern fatherly figure, not easy to please and always angry at something or other, however it is the perfect part for him and plays well into the storyline.

But of course, the film is a comedy, and between all the lovey-dovey and fight scenes, there is no shortage of comedy. Hoult provides a comedic voice over thoughout, however it is Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantamano Bay), playing R’s best-Zombie-friend, M who steals the show. Corddry does brilliantly to give the film the comedy it needs to counter the romance and the gory bits. Analeigh Tipton (Damsels in Distress, The Green Hornet), does well to add comedy from the human side of things, providing comic relief in various parts. Dave Franco (21 Jump Street, Fright Night), younger brother of James, puts in a good performance, however his potential is yet to be seen as an actor, only having small roles in films. Expect to see more of him in the future.

There are similarities between Warm Bodies and Twilight, it has to be said. One of them being Teresa Palmer’s acting style. So similar to Kirsten Stewart’s, right done to the mouth twitches, and exaggerated facial expressions, a real let down. Having said that, this may be a ploy to poke fun at the Twilight star, however it does add a cringe worthy viewing experience for the audience, whenever her face comes onscreen.

Now if you have read the book, then I wouldn’t recommend going to see the film. Isaac Marion’s novel is a lot darker, and not intended to be a Romantic Comedy which is the aspect that Levine introduces.

Overall it will give you laughs, however some of the acting lets some performances down, and although it may be a unique way of doing things, it is essentially just another zombie film.


-Zak Gibson


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