Tagline explains the gist of it, “He’s still dead, but he’s getting warmer.” Told from the perspective of a walking “corpse” in his early twenties, R (played by teen idol Nicholas Hoult) walks, acts, grunts and gobbles like a zombie but the unique difference is; he still feels like a human being. Infection from chemical warfare hasn’t robbed him of all emotional and mental faculties!
In this zombie romance based on Isaac Marion’s novel, consciousness wanes overtime and not immediately. When humans “turn”, they become corpses just like R and slowly disintegrate into full-blown nasties called “bonies.” We’ll find out later that the cure-all solution apparently lies in… umm, some heart and sweet lovin’.
When consuming brain matter belonging to victims, R experiences flashes of their memories — literally absorbing nutrients physically and physiologically as he feeds. One day; he meets cute with Julie (Teresa Palmer, who bears a striking resemblance to Kristen Stewart from some angles), daughter of Colonel Grigio (John Malkovich) — leader of mankind’s resistance against the undead. Hunger gives way to neural activity, hormones and warm fuzzy feelings; the pair soon bond over John Waite’s rendition of “Missing You” among other MTV hits.
Rest of the plot’s development is formalist predicament — “lovers in overwhelming odds” — Romeo and Juliet against the scrim of gun-totting homo sapiens and carnivorous bonies.
Warm Bodies is the type of fusion flick that will attract a fair amount of praise and disdain from die hard fans of stock genres that range from zombie (Dawn of the Dead), goth (Twilight), romantic comedies (Crazy, Stupid, Love), apocalyptic sci-fi (Children of Men) to serious dramas (Inception). We watch with a preset of ideas about what it should or ought to be, so I’m going out on a limb here to say that this latest feature by Jonathan Levine (50/50) is a pretty fun and amusing trip. It took some time but eventually, I came to enjoy the film what it’s worth — offbeat fiction for forlorned romantics.
There are moments when Warm Bodies border on pedestrian vanilla; relying on pop music and goofy-dry humor to compel the narrative, but this routine ends after the second act. On the overall; Levine’s protagonists make a handsome couple, relatable and charming in this interrobang of romcom and zombie-apocalypse. Story is really sweet, the effect is entertaining.
Original Soundtrack (OST) for Warm Bodies:
- BE THE SONG — FOY VANCE
- HINNOM, TX — BON IVER
- HUNGRY HEART — BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
- LONELY BOY — THE BLACK KEYS (featured in Trailer)
- MIDNIGHT CITY — M83
- MISSING YOU — JOHN WAITE
- NUMBERS DON’T LIE — THE MYNABIRDS
- OCTOBER — BROKEN BELLS (featured in Trailer)
- OH PRETTY WOMAN — ROY ORBISON
- PATIENCE — GUNS N’ ROSES
- ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE — SCORPIONS
- RUNAWAY — THE NATIONAL
- SHELL SUITE — CHAD VALLEY
- SHELTER FROM THE STORM — BOB DYLAN
- SITTING IN LIMBO — JIMMY CLIFF
- THE BAD IN EACH OTHER — FEIST
- WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS — JOHN ROBERT FOSTER
- WITH A GIRL LIKE YOU — THE TROGGS (featured in Trailer)
- DELTA SPIRIT — YAMAHA