Cold genre finds hope in ‘Warm Bodies’

Joe Llorin, Features Editor

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Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet- a girl and boy from different royal families engage in a forbidden romance, blah, blah, blah- The point is that we as fans of all that is fiction have seen retellings of this story up the wazoo. We had thought we’d seen this story done practically to death- that is until “Warm Bodies” hit theatres on Feb. 1.

Based on the book published in 2010 by Isaac Marion, “Warm Bodies” tells the story of R (Nicholas Hoult), a young man-turned-zombie who falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer), a human survivor, after eating the brains of her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco).

Unlike in most movies of the genre, the zombies in “Warm Bodies” eat human brains to “get high” off of their victims’ memories, serving as extra motivation to keep eating. The second that these zombies lose their traces of humanity and start to eat themselves, they become what R and his kind call “Boneys,” as they are literally just skeletons.

After forming a unique friendship that is objected by both Julie’s father General Grigio (John Malkovich) – who has taken charge over the remaining survivors in the city- and R’s best friend M (Rob Corddry), R and Julie attempt to show that there is a cure and thus hope for humanity. Standing in their way, however, besides the conflict between their species, are the Boneys, whose sole desire is to eat.

Like most film adaptations of best-selling books, there are a lot of things missing and a lot of things done right. The casting in particular serves the book justice. Nicholas Hoult masterfully brings to life the philosophical yet silent R, whose actions literally speak louder than his words. Rob Corddry’s portrayal of M may be one of the several highlights the film offers. His performance was both comedic and convincing and although he didn’t get a lot of screen time, he made his moments count.

Most fans of the book will be disappointed that a lot of the “meat” was left out of the film, especially the relationship between R and M. In the book, the two share many comedic moments together and it was a major let-down that there wasn’t much screen time for the dynamic duo. Many will agree that the film was a bit short, and thus couldn’t fully develop its supporting characters but there a few nods to context from the book that the film couldn’t dwell on, such as R’s “kids” watching while he practiced his driving.

Although the film lacked a good chunk of the meat that made “Warm Bodies” the success that it was, the film did an acceptable job of highlighting the book’s major plot sequences while stringing it all together with a quirky, romantic comedy-esque and heart-warming feel. All in all, “Warm Bodies” does not disappoint.

Rating: 3/5

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