Thursday, 11 April 2013
FILM REVIEW: WARM BODIES
Icon Film Distribution
Forget vampires, zombies are so hot right now! With the end of the Twilight saga of films and television's The Walking Dead taking on a (undead) life of its own, the ascension of the zombie in pop culture is reaching pandemic proportions.
Warm Bodies, adapted from Isaac Marion's YA novel of the same name (itself loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet), is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The twist? It's a rom-com. The further twist? One half of the romantic coupling just happens to be a zombie, proving the dating scene is even more nightmarish when society crumbles.
But those hoping for Walking Dead style gore and carnage, you'd best look elsewhere. Warm Bodies may take place in a world overrun with zombies but it's one viewed through rose-coloured rather than bloodstained glasses. It has heart to go along with its wit, and more humour than horror.
R (Nicholas Hoult), so called because he can't remember his real name (and, like pirates, it's the most common sound to escape a zombie's mouth), is a young-man-cum-zombie who, having made a discarded passenger plane his home, spends his days roaming the airport, searching for food (i.e. humans) and conversing (of sorts) with fellow zombie, M (Rob Corddry).
It's while on a food hunt in the city that R meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), one of the city's surviving humans and a member of its roaming patrol, who sparks something in his presumed dead heart. Rather than eat her (although he has just feasted on her boyfriend, played by Dave Franco), R takes Julie back to his plane, attempting to woo her with his record collection and trying not to scare her -- well, much more.
And soon enough, Julie begins to see that R isn't like all the other zombies. There's something about this pale-faced, once living young man with his slurred speech and his outdated music. And while he may have eaten her boyfriend, he is trying to be a better zombie/man. Besides, nobody's perfect.
Of course, there have been other zombie comedies. Shaun of the Dead (which I regretfully have yet to see) and 2009's Zombieland, which Warm Bodies perhaps comes closer to in tone, being two of the more recent. And while it may lack the bite of Zombieland, Warm Bodies is no less fun and far more sweet.