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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Nicholas Hoult
Teresa Palmer
Rob Corddry
John Malkovich
Analeigh Tipton
Dave Franco.
Directors
Jonathan Levine.
Screenwriters
Jonathan Levine.
Running Time
98 minutes

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Warm Bodies
Sympathy for the zombie


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Plot
R (Hoult) is a zombie, but he’s somewhat conflicted about it. When he eats the brain of her boyfriend, Perry (Franco), he falls in love with Julie (Palmer) and begins to strain against the limits of an undead life. But for these star-cross’d lovers, there are obvious obstacles to a happy ending.


Review
Warm Bodies
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The implied cause of the zombie apocalypse in this rom-zom-com is our collective addiction to technology and Kim Kardashian — which all feels worryingly plausible. But tempering any caustic edge is its encouraging message that love can redeem us all, even if we’re afflicted by a lust for human brains.

It’s not the most obvious premise for a film: despite all the paranormal romances we’ve seen since Twilight hit, zombies have remained commendably undateable. That was, until Nicholas Hoult’s R, who combines the lurching and drooling with an understated wit and existential concern that there might be more to life than moaning and eating people. Thanks to that rarest of things, a helpful voiceover, he paints a black and bleakly comic portrait of zombie existence and explains his strange urge to protect Teresa Palmer’s Julie instead of feasting on her cerebrum. And if 2013 brings us a more beautifully played comedy moment than a zombie telling himself, “Don’t be creepy, don’t be creepy,” as he approaches a girl, we’ll be doing well.

During the brilliant first hour, it becomes clear that this zombie-meets-girl story is a surprisingly universal tale about the difficulty of communicating your feelings when it really matters. The tentative steps towards friendship that R and Julie take feel authentic, and if she’s a less well-drawn character than he is, at least you can see why they like one another. The slight turn towards action in the final act, when R faces danger from Julie’s militaristic father (John Malkovich) and the thoroughly skeletal “boneys” try to quash any hint of life among the masses, is less original but not without humour.

Shot in somehow luminous shades of grey by cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe and played like a quality indie, the fact that the pair communicate via vinyl records and experience flashbacks in a sort of Instagram-filtered glow gives this a hipster vibe. But there’s nothing studied or cool about this romance — the corpse who goes a-courtin’ is remarkably sincere.


Verdict
Somewhere between the pop-culture deconstruction of Zombieland and the skewed romance of (500) Days Of Summer, this manages to make the apocalypse seem charming. Warm is the right word.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Warm Bodies
Empire Star Rating

"The dead don't dream."

At times uncomfortably awkward, Warm Bodies is an often amusing, always "warm-hearted" love story which reworks the zombie formula in new and interesting ways. There is fun to be had here... just not as much as you'd hope. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by movienut707 at 12:13, 10 October 2013 | Report This Post


The Talking Dead...

Overall, I found it to be rather sweet and slightly fascinating, but the purist in me couldn't detach from the fact that the zombies here may look in keeping with the Romero-school, but they don't follow any of the same rules. A valiant effort, and still a better zombie film than World War Z. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 11:16, 29 June 2013 | Report This Post


Nothing like any other Zombie movie I have watched before. Captivating from the very first scene to the last. Definitely worth watching! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by catrinanderson at 09:07, 19 February 2013 | Report This Post


Ignore the one star reviews, this movie is excellent

Warm Bodies is a smart, funny and touching film about a zombie named R who saves Julie from a zombie attack. It has great performances, a brilliant script and intelligent directing. Check out my site to read a full critique of the movie. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by My Dream Tank at 22:29, 12 February 2013 | Report This Post


A waste of a good idea

Agreed. It's billed as a zom-rom-com... he's barely a zombie to begin with (and she doesn't even seem that disturbed by him), the romance is forced and it barely raised a titter. Very disappointed. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by philshepp at 23:22, 10 February 2013 | Report This Post


Rather Dull

If this was supposed to be a comedy, it's not funny. If it's supposed to be a horror it's not scary. If it's supposed to be a romantic drama, then it's simply dull. There are some decent performances, but in the end, this is Romeo and Juliet with zombies and doesn't work on any level. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kev2012 at 04:50, 09 February 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

Yeah the little puke from skins is well cast as playing a brain-dead emotionless corpse. ... More

Posted by spamandham at 13:04, 06 February 2013 | Report This Post


Hmmm... You would think that Hoult playing a brainless, expressionless zombie would suit him down to a tee. Alas, NO! This is just as tedious you expect it to be and not even the excellent Malkovich can save this from being utter talentless tripe! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by J_BUltimatum at 00:22, 04 February 2013 | Report This Post


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