We’ve become so accustomed to vampires, werewolves and the like dominating as love interests in paranormal/urban fantasy realm. We may get the occasional demon or angel, but rarely do we see zombies fill that role, and for good reason. It’s really not that hott when the guy is rotting away and wants to take chunks out of you. Isaac Marion proves that he not only knows the rules, but he knows how to break them too. And it translates very well onto the big screen. We have the initially subtle star crossed lover feel as R, our zombie in question, falls for a human girl and finds himself becoming a little more human himself as they spend more time together. Yeah, he has the usual craving for brains, as do all zombies, but something deep inside of him yearns for more that that–and no, it’s not more guts. He’s the most cultured zombie you’re going to find, loving music, collecting souvenirs, and riding escalators. Believe me, it sounds ridiculous but I really thought it worked here.
Nicholas Hoult was a good choice. He was easier on the eyes for a zombie, which in turn made the love story more acceptable. I’ve taken a liking to the actor since I first saw him in X-Men First Class, though I know has a body of work spanning back to his childhood. His zombie mannerisms were pretty good, particularly the walking and running. I wish his actual speaking started out being more more stilted though. Theresa Palmer was a good choice and I felt they played off one another pretty well. Rob Corddry has some great punch lines, perhaps the best in a zombie punchlines ever, though this movie doesn’t have many contemporaries in that respect.
Movies rarely surpass books and this was no exception. There were a number of changes that I understood were for the better, but there were a number of missed opportunities as well that would have been great to see on the big screen. I think they would have added more depth and interest. But overall it I enjoyed it–the laughs, the love story, and the existential quality all throughout. I finished the book wanting to see the movie right away and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.
I’m sure the comparisons to other zombie comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland are inevitable. In my opinion, Shaun of the Dead remains untouched with Zombieland being a distant but solid second, but this is worth a watch. If you’re a zombie fan who doesn’t mind a deviation from the norm, this is the movie for you! Warm Bodies hits theatres nationwide on February 1, 2013.