Monday, February 4, 2013

Warm Bodies - Overwhelming sense of Meh.

Warm Bodies was one of those instances where I really hoped the film would be fantastic.  It wasn't fantastic. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't fantastic either.  I've not read the book on which it is based but I have a friend who did read it (Jennifer B., I mean you!) so maybe she can weigh in on this.  I think I'd like to read the book now because I see the potential the movie had so maybe the book still has it.

So the story is this: there are zombies.  One of these zombies meets a girl, falls in love with her at first sight, and kidnaps her.  Then something changes for them and then the world in general.  It's definitely a new spin on zombies and on the theme of love saving the world. 

The zombies in Warm Bodies are a bit different than we're used to and I appreciated that.  The main zombie, "R," (and I'm assuming all the other zombies like him) are self-aware, have internal monologues, feel conflicted about eating live humans, and can utter an occasional word or even a brief sentence.  Also, when they eat someone's brain they get that person's memories, thoughts, etc.  "R" explains that this helps them feel human again.  This is also the only way this movie makes any sense.  It kind of works but it also kind of bums me out as a story telling tool. 
I liked the two main stars, Nicholas Hoult (the kid from About a Boy turned out OK!) and Teresa Palmer (the actress who SHOULD get all of Kristen Stewart's jobs).  They have great chemistry and I was rooting for these two crazy kids the whole time. John Malkovich shows up too but it's pretty inconsequential.

Even before the movie ended I felt like there was something missing.  I'm still not sure what the missing element was but I think it was a possible combination of humor and/or action.  And I don't mean like violent action but just something happening. There was nothing that made it truly special.  Zombies are hot right now and this could have been a really interesting twist on making them a bit more accessible and human but it missed the bus.  So that's why I'm gonna read the book, if my friend Jennifer says I should, because I'm hoping it's got whatever the movie was missing.  The books are always better than the movie, right?

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