Warm Bodies, 2013
dir. Jonathan Levine
Really good! Totally worth having to walk back home from the cinema at 2am!
Okay, serious business now, yes? First of all, Nicholas Hoult. He’s always been a sweetheart of mine, since About a Boy (what can I do if the boy is in a movie based on a book by my favourite author?). I love him in Skins, X-Men: First Class, and A Single Man (etcetera, etcetera, etcetera), and it’s not surprise that he was brilliant in this particular film. The make-up they put on him was fantastic, he really looks dead, but you can see that his cheeks get rosier as he begins to change back. And he manages to play the zombie you root for! Even as he’s eating Perry’s brains, you still root for him, you know? Besides, Hoult has great comic timing, which was what made some scenes all the funnier, because there were times when he couldn’t really speak, so it’s all about his face and movements. Love that.
Now, is it just me or does Teresa Palmer look a lot like Kristen Stewart? Spooky. Anyway. I quite liked her – because unlike Stewart, Palmer is a good actor – especially as she grows fonder of R. The blooming of their relationship is really quite adorable, and I liked the way she reacted to finding out R had eaten her boyfriend (never thought I’d say that, to be honest). She played it incredibly well. Kudos, Palmer!
John Malkovich is in this, man! John. Malkovich. If you know me, you probably know that I’m a huge Charlie Kaufman fan, and that I think that Being John Malkovich is just one of the greatest movies ever. So, there. He’s here, and he plays Julie’s father, Grigio. He’s all jaded and hurt by the rise of Corpses – that’s what they call the zombies – and doesn’t understand that they can go back to life. But it’s one of those times when you actually believe in his coming around, you know? It’s not because of love and magic or any crap like that, it’s simply because, hey, the Corpse is bleeding, so it’s not a corpse anymore, right? It’s brilliant.
(and the scene when R starts to bleed and they all realise that the zombies are turning for real is absolutely hilarious! Actually, they whole film has a sort of bittersweet, morbid humour to it)
Can we give a shout out to the supporting actors? Analeigh Tipton and Rob Corddry usually play supporting roles in films like these, but in this one they give an extra heart to it. Tipton’s Nora is Julie’s best friend and she keeps the game going for them, it’s great! And Corddry’s M is R’s best friend, albeit in a zombie way, and he’s the one that convinces the other zombies that they are all changing. I love them here, and their characters. Truly great.
Moving on, now. According to IMDb, Warm Bodies is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet (R = Romeo; Julie = Juliet; etc), while Empire magazine described it as a Zombieland meets (500) Days of Summer. I don’t know what to think of these, but this really is a great film. It’s got laughs and warm fuzzy moments, a bit of angst and loads of action. Especially against the Bonies, which are the far-gone zombies that only care about eating human flesh. They are quite scary, but they are also what bring the Corpses and humans together. A “bonding experience”, as R described it.
Besides all that, the music in this is fantastic! R is a fan of vinyls, so they play all this old music, Bob Dylan and stuff, and it’s awesome. You’d expect a PG-13 movie like that to play more current music, but it really isn’t like that, and I think that it helped add a bit of heart to the whole thing. (don’t get me started on the Pretty Woman scene, I can’t get enough of it!)
But one of the most interesting things for me was that, even though it’s a movie for teens, they were not afraid of using blood and showing gore. I mean, you can’t not do that if it’s about zombies, right? And they played it in a great way. All the gore was necessary, not Tarantino-esque, I assure you.
Anyway, I can’t recommend this enough, so you should absolutely watch it!
review by Mariana Duarte