Just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Warm Bodies” has arrived, a zombie romantic comedy that won’t surprise or impress you, but if you go in with low expectations, you’ll at least think it’s cute. It’s “Twilight” meets “Romeo and Juliet” meets “Shaun of the Dead,” without being as good as its inspirations — but at least it doesn’t carry the stigma that “Twilight” does.
When I say “Warm Bodies” borrows from “Romeo and Juliet,” I mean it. Our loverboy goes by “R” because that is the most of his name he can remember, and he falls in love with Julie, the daughter of the zombie-killing general. R and Julie, get it?
Unfortunately, the plot is lacking. R meets Julie as he’s dining on her boyfriend’s flesh, but they flirt immediately after. If I walked in on another guy consuming my girlfriend — well, you get the picture. One minute they are hurrying to avoid certain destruction and the next they somehow have the time for a montage trying on sunglasses that would look right at home in one of Pepperdine’s NSO lip-dubs.
While the logic behind it may be absent, the chemistry itself is not. Richard Hoult and Teresa Palmer do well as lead characters. Palmer has more fight in her than Kristen Stewart did in “Twilight,” which makes her more entertaining to watch. Hoult does an especially good job. He has to make blank stares, lumbering limbs and disjointed, grunt-like dialogue charming, and he does just that.
John Malkovich plays the stereotypical military leader role — nothing special from arguably the biggest name in the cast. I felt cheated by Rob Corddry’s role as well. His brand of comedy is over-the-top and dark; he didn’t do much for me as a subtle sidekick.
One of the movie’s best aspects was the soundtrack. R, who lives in an abandoned airplane, has a collection of vinyls and music posters. This is a way to both humanize him and make him seem cool, both steps that need to be accomplished for the audience to buy into this romance.
For people wanting to see a zombie movie, you will be disappointed. This is a romantic comedy that happens to have zombies in it. The role of the real antagonists are filled by Bonies — no, not Bronies, although they antagonize society in their own right (if you don’t know what a Brony is, spend some time Googling it; it’s fun). The Bonies are undead who have decomposed to — wait for it — bones. And these are terribly CGI-generated. Because our bad zombies are just bones, “Warm Bodies” avoids one of the most important factors in a zombie movie — gore. This film is not scary, and it is not gory. The zombies are all intact and just have on too much makeup; it wouldn’t surprise me if I saw one working at Hot Topic (Hot being of a higher temperature than Warm).
As I walked out of the theater, I felt I was not the target audience for this movie. In fact, I feel like college students are not the target audience for this movie. This movie is aimed at people who want to say they saw something edgy, but it is not for true zombie lovers.
So, if you’ve got nothing else to do and want to see a cute movie with some zombies, go for it. But overall, it’s just meh.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic