So “Warm Bodies” begins and one of the first things that come up on the screen is the Summit Entertainment logo. Panic mode… as I suddenly realize there’s a chance I'm about to watch Twilight for zombies! I already had concerns that this might be a sappy zombie movie. Summit wouldn’t try to kill zombies like they did vampires would they?
The story follows a zombie, who is eventually named R (Nicholas Hoult). Early on he can't talk, but the audience gets to hear the voice inside his head. R and a group of zombie friends go on the hunt for some food, and find some humans searching a lab. A fight occurs, where R sees and surprisingly saves Julie (Teresa Palmer). This becomes only the first step in R's transformation from zombie to human.
This is a different zombie movie because it’s refreshingly from a zombie’s point of view. The opening scene shows R walking around an airport with the audience hearing his thoughts. It's a tremendously funny scene hearing what a zombie could be thinking. He's not sure why he's there, what he's doing, and can't remember his life as a human.
It’s not just from any zombie’s point of view; it’s from R’s, who proves to be a very intriguing zombie. Most zombies don’t want anything more than brains. Well, R wants a lot more than that. The audience sees how R is just a little different than the zombies around him. He lives in an airplane, and is a collector of things. One thing he collects, and surprisingly plays are old records. The music choices are perfect for R’s situation, and add some extra entertainment to the movie.
R’s life as a zombie changes forever when he saves, and basically collects Julie. She quickly becomes his most important possession, as if it's zombie love at first sight. He's adamant about keeping her safe, and even tells her that. Yes, the transformation starts with R being able to say words. From this point on, the more time he spends with Julie, the closer he becomes to turning back into a human.
Of course, Julie isn’t so sure about living with a zombie, as she has been taught that they want nothing more than to eat you. However, after R proves he isn’t a threat to her, she becomes as intrigued in him as the audience. As R and Julie spend sometime getting to know each other before their real journey begins, the on screen chemistry between Nicholas, and Teresa really bring these characters to life. Nicholas does a great job of selling that R’s in love with Julie, but not over doing because he’s still a zombie after all. Teresa equally does a suburb job of showing how Julie handles the awkwardness of the situation, and balancing her feelings for R while wanting to return home.
There are two other things worthy of note about this movie. One is what happens to zombies when they eat brains. While not giving it away, it’s a very fascinating idea if that’s something that really could happen. Seriously, that could open the door to other great zombie movie ideas. Maybe it has been done somewhere else that I’m unaware of, but it certainly grabbed my attention.
Besides this just being about zombies vs. humans, the other note worthy thing is that they introduce a third party to this equation: the Boneys. Not the most creative name, but that’s what they are, bones. Actually, they do a good job of making these skeleton guys pretty creepy for skeletons. While zombies are out for brains, the Boneys are out for anything with a heartbeat.
While “Warm Bodies” has similarities to Romeo and Juliet, it certainly isn’t just a sappy love story. It’s a different kind of zombie movie about a very special zombie. Allowing audiences to first hear R’s thoughts and later speak, makes him a likeable character from the start, and provides plenty of humorous moments throughout. There is also just enough action, and yes romance to complete this story full of interesting ideas. The great chemistry between the lead actors makes this movie complete. Because Summit didn’t ruin zombies as well, I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood.