Film Review: WARM BODIES (directed by Jonathan Levine)

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by Kevin Bowen on February 4, 2013

in Film


Summit Entertainment, the company that brought the Twilight series to the big screen, continues to explore horror film dating options with the satire Warm Bodies – an inevitability considering America’s love affair with zombies and hot teenage vampires. This RrrrrRomeo and Juliet story, based on the Isaac Marion novel, mashes together the zombie revival and teensploitation flicks. The result is DOA.

Kevin Bowen's Stage and Cinema review

The world has succumbed to a zombie apocalypse. The dead are walking the earth, feasting on brains, and, yes, failing in love. A lone zombie going by the name “R” lives on a downed 747 at the airport. The brain-eating lifestyle is getting him down; it’s all roam-the-earth-looking-for-flesh without much social interaction. Meanwhile a group of healthy human teenagers are leaving the last human settlement to go on a medicine run. Among them is a pretty blonde with a hair trigger. Could love be in the air?

One fun bit from watching movies like Warm Bodies is coming up with blatant ways to interpret it: We share DNA – and they are living beings, after all – so is it moral to shoot zombies? Do they exist in a Heidegger-like state of Dasein? Is this a film about the rise to consciousness? Sadly, no amount of philosophical overevaluation can turn the temperature up on Warm Bodies.

Kevin Bowen's Stage and Cinema review

The acting, from Nicholas Hoult and scream queen Teresa Palmer is one thing that doesn’t get brought back to life, if it was ever alive to begin with. That said, being surrounded by bad acting gives you the opportunity to identify good acting. Analeigh Tipton (Damsels in Distress) steals all of her scenes, varying delivery and breathing life into lifeless lines.

Satire is a sign that a genre has joined the living dead, and Jonathan Levine’s film is no exception to that rule.  While Warm Bodies isn’t without its moments of entertainment – funny things happen here and there – there’s no reason the film should exist at all. It is the deadest of deadening experiences.

Kevin Bowen's Stage and Cinema review

photos by Summit Entertainment

Warm Bodies
Summit Entertainment, Make Movies, Mandeville Pictures
rated PG-13
in wide release February 1, 2013

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