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Thursday, March 21, 2013  

M. Ovie Reviews: Warm Bodies

Man, am I behind on movies this year. I'm also behind on reviewing them. Or, I should say, it. Given all the TV I've been covering for TWoP since January, there hasn't been much time to get out to the theater. I really miss Icees.

But I have managed to see one movie in 2013, and I apologize that I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. As you may know, I'm something of a fan of zombie stories, which I gobble up like the brains of the living. So I knew I was going to see Warm Bodies, even if I wasn't all that excited about it.

I was wrong about Warm Bodies as it turns out. Not to not be excited about it, I was dead on there. No, what I mean is that I got the impression from the ads that the protagonist, R, is a living dude only pretending to be undead so he can blend in with the shambling hordes infesting the airport he's trapped in. That's because he's also the narrator of the film, and his lucid inner monologue belies the fact that he's actually as undead as the next zombie. It's just that his articulate, thoughtful mind is trapped in a decomposing meatsack that can occasionally produce the word "hungry," although we do see from his habitat that he retains some pretty impressive fine motor skills.

Every zombie story needs a mythology, including some aspect that departs from the usual conventions of the genre. In 28 Days Later it was their speed, in The Walking Dead it's the fact that the infection resides dormant in the living, in Shaun of the Dead it was their Britishness. Here, as in Coulson Whitehead's Zone One, there are two levels of undead. One is your basic slow-moving zombies, which don't look nearly as gross as other specimens from the genre and might even be mistaken for unwashed Goths; and the others are "skeletons" to which each of them is supposedly devolving. Basically CGI Deadites from Army of Darkness. It's not a bad setup for the story.

Unfortunately, it's not that good a story. I've seen Warm Bodies compared to Twilight but with zombies in place of vampires. Since all I know of Twilight is what I was unable to avoid absorbing through cultural osmosis, I can't really speak to that. But if it's an accurate comparison, I can see why a lot of people really hate Twilight.

It's probably not giving too much away to say that in a zomromcom, love will conquer all. Things end up working out pretty well for R, even if he never does remember the rest of his name (though an on-the-nose scene at the end of the second act gives a pretty clear indication of what it probably was). Admittedly, he goes through some shit to get there, so it's not totally unearned.

I think what I keep looking for in zombie stories is something that doesn't have a totally unsatisfying ending. They always leave me wanting more, hence my continued interest in The Walking Dead, which to date doesn't have an ending at all. As for the ending of Warm Bodies, all I can say is that I'm still looking.

posted by M. Giant 8:48 PM 1 comments


Awww, I thought it was cute. It did take me an embarassingly long time to realize that it's a zombie retelling of Romeo & Juliet, though.

By Blogger yasmara, at March 25, 2013 at 1:42 PM  

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