Going to the Movies by Catherine Taegel – “Warm Bodies”

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

Going to the Movies is written by Mount Vernon Triangle resident Catherine Taegel.

This week I saw “Warm Bodies” starring Nicholas Hoult as R, the zombie with a heart. This is Hoult’s first stab at the starring role in a film. (You can see him later this year as Jack in “Jack the Giant Slayer”as well.) The story is a of world post zombie apocalypse, but with a twist. R, the young zombie, falls in love with a much alive young female human, and begins to feel again. A friend referred to it as the best both worlds for a date night – zombies for the guys and romance for the ladies. I can get down with that, but I did relatively enjoy both sides.

The film opens with R aimlessly wondering (stumbling) around an abandoned airport with other zombies. His internal dialogue shows us that unlike most zombies we’ve encountered before, there is something in him. He has habits, a personality, and his sarcastic voiceover guiding each scene exposes the utter ridiculousness that is zombies. Since the sole purpose of zombies is to eat humans, it’s befitting that R discovers his one true love on a quest for a meal.

Continues after the jump.

His romantic interest is Julie (Teresa Palmer) – a spunky, independent, kind, beautiful, and of course the daughter of Grigio (John Malkovich), the leader of the human city who is out to kill all zombies. R spares her life and manages to blend her into the zombie group. He brings her safely back to basecamp at the airport and onto a plane he’s outfitted with random chachkies and, of course, a turntable with a great record collection. (R’s main mode of expression is music. Soul searching early in the film leads him to put on John Waite’s “Missing You” .) R convinces Julie to stay a few days for her own protection. During this time they form a bond, but all good things must come to an end and that’s when the movie really starts to movie. Julie’s quest back to the walled city and R’s desire to support her starts a change that not only warms his own heart, but the hearts of other zombies as well.

The film moves well and luckily it never takes itself too seriously. Hault and Parker’s relative anonymity as actors does the film well. The audience is able to take them at face value and concentrate on the characters as opposed to just seeing the actors as the characters themselves, which often happens in satires. However, there were a few recognizable actors on screen, including – Rob Corddry as M, R’s zombie friend and at certain times his father figure; John Malkovich as Grigio, the leader of the humans that are left after the apocalypse, and Dave Franco (yes, James Franco’s brother) as Perry, Julie’s boyfriend and one of the leaders of the young group set out to collect medical supplies.

Even though I just saw Rob Corrdry, John Malkovich, and Dave Franco as themselves it added to the hilarity of the film. My only disappointment is that I was waiting for John Malkovich to really lose it and I imagine that probably happened in a scene that was eventually cut from the movie. Rob Corrdry comforting a broken-hearted R got a great reaction from the crowd as he asked R “You alright?” and as R shook his head no, Corrdry utters “Bitches.” Well played, Corrdry.

“Warm Bodies” is an alternative take to your typical zombie movie. While it is certainly no “Sean of the Dead” or “Zombieland” it manages to comfortably fit into the zombie satirical genre – silly, fun, and good-natured.

“Warm Bodies” opens February 1, 2013 in theaters nationwide.

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