If there’s one thing that can get your attention before a movie trailer, it’s this…
That’s right, zombie violence. Follow that with a splash screen heralding Summit Entertainment, the studio lifted from obscurity by the Twilight films, and you’ve got my attention. Fast forward a couple of months to a lucky phone call to a radio station giveaway and you’ve got a very happy me attending last night’s advanced screening of Warm Bodies.
If you’re hoping for the kind of zombie violence you’d find in The Walking Dead, shuffle on to another theater, because this is not the movie for you.
If you’re hoping for a quirky zombie-filled romance that doesn’t take itself too seriously, see it.
R, played by Nicholas Hoult, exists among the undead; whether or not he’s the only one who ponders this, we don’t know, but his stream-of-consciousness narration accompanies us throughout. The opening monologue is easily one of the brightest spots in the film with witty commentary that’s delivered flawlessly. Oscar-worthy? No. Entertaining? Quite.
When R and a group of his peers hunt, he finds himself captivated by Julie, played by Teresa Palmer. R becomes even more enamored after he kills and consumes her boyfriend—hey, a zombie’s gotta eat!—thus acquiring some of said beau’s memories. It sounds infinitely more weird and gross than it is, I promise.
The infatuation sparks a protective instinct in R and causes him to save Julie. The ensuing bond between the two maintains a nice balance of sweet and silly.
Character development is fairly thin, but it didn’t really matter. R’s internal narrative and some surprisingly hilarious one-liners from his friend M (Rob Corddry) steal the show. And while Teresa Palmer reminded me of a less petulant Kristen Stewart at times, Julie maintained likability.
What can I say about this flick that you can’t tell from the trailer? Honestly, not much, except that it’s even more fun than it looks. Oh, and the use of recognizable pop music from the last couple of decades is quite near genius. I’ll pay to see it again!