Starring: Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class), Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), John Malkovich (Con Air)
Writer/Director: Jonathan Levine (50/50)
Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes
Release Date: 1 February (US), 8 February (UK)
Many are quick to dismiss Warm Bodies as yet another lame attempt to cash in on the Twilight craze. Does this film suffer from the same problems as those abysmal films, or does this zom-rom-com have more on the inside?
The plot of Warm Bodies is a very loose adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, but about as loose as you get. The film follows the romantic comedy structure to a T, but with its setting and characters it remains fresh. The film keeps up a good pace throughout, scattering just enough humour as it goes, before entering an entertaining but extremely brief climax. The writing here is consistently witty, with enough jabs taken at both the zombie and rom com genres to entertain fans of both genres.
The little kid from About a Boy has come a long way, hasn’t he? In what is his first leading role in a major film, Hoult excels. He plays undead well, letting his face do a lot of the talking to convey his emotions when his ever-constant monologue decides not to chime in. Palmer is decent as well, though her character isn’t as developed or interesting as Hoult. Rob Corddry provides a lot of good humour, whilst the enigmatic John Malkovich is barely used in a stereotypical role that could have been played by anyone.
Possibly the most unfortunate thing about Warm Bodies is the lack of gore. I know they’re trying to appeal to the teen market, but even for a 12 rated film the violence on display here is pretty tame. Sure, we get to see headshots and even some brain devouring, but it all feels held back. They could have gone a little messier and still gotten away with the rating. The movie also has a very indie soundtrack, often segwaying into montages that seem out of place at times.
Warm Bodies is the first genuinely good movie of the year, and does enough new things to make it stand out. Whilst not a classic, it is entertaining and has plenty of laughs to be worth a watch.
FINAL VERDICT: 8/10