The success of Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland prove that when in a capable pair of hands zombie comedies can work very well.
As my attentions have been focused on this year’s Oscar baiting offerings it feels like Warm Bodies has sneaked into the cinema under the radar.
Warm Bodies is of course based upon a novel which my uneducated mind has not read.
PLOT: The zombie apocalypse has been and gone leaving in its wake hoards of shuffling zombies. Zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) stumbles upon a group of survivors and surprises himself by having feelings for Julie (Teresa Palmer). R saves Julie from being eaten and the two hide out in R’s aeroplane home. As the two bond, R slowly starts to return to his human form however the violent “Bonies” and Julie’s father (John Malkovich) have other ideas about their friendship. END PLOT
What immediately sets Warm Bodies apart from regular zombie films is that the story is told from the point of view of the zombie. This turns out to be more entertaining than expected thanks to the narration by Nicholas Hoult.
The love story between R and Julie manages to be sweet without, for want of a better description, straying into unbelievable territory.
Nicholas Hoult is excellent as R and makes for a very capable lead. Hoult cannot use R’s dead and unblinking eyes but manages to convey human emotion through facial twitches which makes it impossible not to route for him.
Teresa Palmer appears to be a hybrid of Amanda Seyfied and Kristen Stewart but this turns out not to be a bad thing.
The supporting cast of John Malkovich, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco and Analeigh Tipton provide adequate back up in their limited and under developed roles.
The zombie effects are basic but Warm Bodies is not aiming for the gritty realism of The Walking Dead. It is almost unfortunate that the Bonies are cheap CGI but the action scenes towards the end were surprisingly tense so in the end it didn’t particularly matter.
There are plenty of giggles scattered throughout, some of which are courtesy of brilliant musical cues, but the overall tone is just so happy it is impossible to watch a second of the film without grinning like an idiot.
Warm Bodies won’t be in the running for the best film of 2013 but it is a strong contender for the sweetest. It gets 8/10. Nicholas Hoult is a face we should all get used to as his career is beginning to pick up some momentum.