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Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Warm Bodies" 2013, Review: Only Lukewarm


"Warm Bodies" is only lukewarm. A zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) eats the brains of Perry (Dave Franco) and thereby falls in love with Perry's girlfriend, Julie (Teresa Palmer). The movie is meant to be a bit scary, a bit funny, and a bit romantic, but I wasn't much scared, I didn't laugh, and the romance was stale and flatfooted.

Julie and R jump into a sports car to escape from menacing zombies and skeletons. The top is down; it begins to rain. They drive into an abandoned, post-Apocalyptic suburban neighborhood. Julie is cold; she has to take off her clothes. She does so in front of R. Teresa Palmer is a very beautiful young woman. R is a frustrated teen zombie madly in love with Julie. The director does absolutely nothing with this scene. There's no special lighting; the camera doesn't show us Julie's beauty as desperate, lovestruck R would see it.

There are multiple chase scenes, none of which make much sense. Julie sees her well-armed father in a convoy and does nothing to join him, but later escapes on her own to join him, a much riskier trip. Why didn't she go earlier? No explanation.

If you're looking for a funny zombie movie, check out "Shaun of the Dead," and "Zombieland." If you're looking for a fully realized romance between a living woman and a dead man, watch "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and "Truly Madly Deeply." If you like romances between women and monsters, see Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast," or "King Kong."

"Warm Bodies" isn't a bad movie. It has its moments. R whines to his fellow zombie, Rob Corddry, about Julie, and Corddry's one word responses is the funniest line in the movie. The movie's conclusion is heartwarming if a bit half-baked.

***

If you like romances between opposites – the living and the dead, for example – check out "Save Send Delete," a love story between and atheist and a believer.

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