Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Dave Franco (Rated M – 98 mins).
It’s all about atmosphere in ‘Warm Bodies’, an unexpectedly hilarious Romeo and Juliet type romance, except Romeo is dead. Without memory of his entire name, ‘R’ is a victim of a zombie plague that has infected many inhabitants of a post apocalyptic city landscape. He lives in an abandoned jumbo jet, listens to vinyl records and occasionally grunts conversations with his mate ‘M’. As part of a retrieval for medical supplies in the dead zone, a human group comes under attack by the walking dead but R falls for the gun toting blonde Julie (Australia’s own Teresa Palmer). He saves the damsel in distress from a ravishing by the flesh eaters offering protection inside his plane. Eventually Julie must return home, her father is none other than the leader of the resistance behind the great wall separating the living from the dead. During their time together, R begins to change, reignite to life in a way that his heart begins to beat and memories form in his once comatose brain. Can it be true love, well lets just say the developing romance has a pivotal moment when R visits Julie on the other side.
The rest I will leave as a surprise, because it certainly is that and actually the most unforeseen perfect date movie ever. Former child star from ‘About a Boy’ and soon to be seen in ‘Mad Max Fury Road’, Nicholas Hoult extends his excellent choice of mature roles since also appearing in ‘X-Men First Class’. John Malkovich is at his off beat best as Julies Dad, while Analeigh Tipton as the quirky best friend has a scene stealing moment when interrogating R.
The classic rock soundtrack is also impressive. Varied cinematography captures the bleak existence so much so it may have been in black & white for the opening stanza of the film. Most zombie stories generally focus on horror elements, however like ‘The Return of the Living Dead’ (1985) obscure comedy is key, with a little traditional gore thrown in for good measure. For older teens and up, this is a must see.
© Shane A. Bassett
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