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Luke Warm “Bodies” Can’t Commit

Typically, I like my undead men to crave blood, not brains. But the trailer was cute so I decided to give zombies another chance with “Warm Bodies.”

Based on the novel by Isaac Marion, “Warm Bodies” is about a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) who falls in love with a human named Julie (Teresa Palmer). The more time R spends with Julie, the more human he becomes. Slowly, their relationship starts off a chain reaction in the other zombies and they start “curing” themselves.

Julie has no problem convincing her best friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) that her new boyfriend doesn’t want to eat her brains, but her dad (John Malkovich) is a bit more difficult. He’s head of the militia fighting against the undead. He tend to shoot first, ask … never, but something tells me these crazy kids can work it out.

It’s an age-old tale, boy meets girl, boy eats girl’s boyfriend’s brain, boy kidnaps girl, girl falls in love with boy. This film is about as romantic as “Twilight.”

I enjoyed the style of the movie and it was a fun twist on the zombie mythos. But it couldn’t seem to commit to one genre and ended up just feeling kinda jumbled. Is it a comedy? Rom-com? Action? Drama? I’m not sure; I’m not sure it knew either.

The plot is predictable and if you’ve seen the trailer there are no surprises. It’s “Romeo and Juliet” meets “Night of the Living Dead.”

warm bodies nicholas hoult zombieHoult’s performance was pretty good. The entire film hinges on the audience liking him and caring about whether or not he becomes human. He is likable and you do care. Palmer, on the other hand, is underwhelming so I’m not sure why he falls in love with her but to each his own.

Zombies can’t talk so a lot of his performance is reaction based, along with a voice-over inner monologue. This leads to some funny moments, and a chance to see that a mindless zombie does have a heart.

Rob Corddry, as R’s best friend M, gives an adequate supporting performance. Malkovich is underused. Besides Hoult, “America’s Next Top Model” alum Tipton gives the only other enjoyable performance. She has good timing and steals every scene she’s in.

So, did I like “Warm Bodies?” [insert non-committal shrug]

It was cute, but not fantastic. While it has some good points, it’s fairly forgettable.It could have been an undead John Hughes classic, but fell way short. At the end of the day it was just another zombie flick.

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