Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures

“Warm Bodies”

The zombie-human love story is a unique angle, but the story itself is nothing more than a too-long homage to "Romeo & Juliet."

By - Feb 1st, 2013 04:00 am
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A new twist on the zombie genre, “Warm Bodies” explores love during a zombie apocalypse. Photo: Lionsgate Films

There’s gotta be a metaphor in here somewhere.

Let’s see, it’s zombies. Again. The living dead. They are slow-moving. They eat the brains of the living. Once bitten by a zombie you become a zombie. They’re strong. Hard to kill since they are already dead. You have to separate the head from the body or blow their brains out to fully stop them. And they are everywhere. Sounds like high school.

Warm Bodies is about one of them. He goes by the name “R” because he has forgotten his real name. He feels different from everybody else. (High school again.)

More importantly he actually feels. So much so that across a blood- and bullet-filled room he sees a young woman, one of the living, and instantly feels the beat of what had been a long forgotten heart. He pursues her even to the foot of her balcony in the final fortress of the living, where they defend themselves against the ever growing number of living dead. Now we are way over the line of paying homage to William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, but just in case you missed the parallel, her name is Julie too.

It’s really a funny concept. For a SNL sketch. One of those ones that’s a little too long. But this is a movie and it’s almost two hours. There are some inspired moments, hysterical touches. Here and there. But it always returns to sentiment, and the two leads can’t quite lift it beyond sweetness. John Malkovich makes an appearance as Julie’s father, the head of the resistance, which in this case means the living. It’s a topsy turvy world. If only it were funny.

Warm Bodies opens Friday, February 1st at a theater near you. See it with the living.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Movies

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