Friday, February 8, 2013

Warm Bodies, or Cute Girls and Bonies.

He's trying to find the white meat.
Teenage girls just can't seem to fall in love with the living anymore.  Vampires and werewolves I can understand.  Vampires have just the right amount of mystery and darkness, and werewolves tend to have deliciously bronzed abs even when they do look like alpacas.  Monsters used to be scary, but now they're just your daughter's boyfriend.  I guess that gives the fathers of the world one more reason to hunt them down, but seriously, ladies.  I know you're all secretly dead on the inside, but zombies?!  They are a little too-obviously dead on the outside, and they want to eat you.  And not in an I-want-to-eat-you-so-bad-but-I-love-you-so-much-and-let's-make-a-vampire-baby sort of way.  This opening paragraph has been brought to you by Twilight references and misogyny.

So, let's start the review here.  Warm Bodies is good.  (A warm body is always good.  Right, bro?)

Damn it.  The third time should be the charm:

Warm Bodies is an enjoyable, albeit light, romantic comedy.  The protagonist may be a rotting corpse, but we've all seen a Dane Cook movie, so we've dealt with worse.  I certainly didn't expect a movie about zombie love to be so sugary, but it really is cute, teetering on nauseating, and I'm okay with that.

There are a whole bunch of plot holes, none of which bothered me because, at the risk of repeating myself:  It's a movie about a zombie and a girl falling in love.  Of course, the girl had also previously been in love with James Franco's brother, which is nearly as weird.

Anyway, there's this zombie named R.  He staggers around with his zombie buddies and occasionally eats people.  We all have flaws.  R is our narrator from the beginning, waxing poetic about how he wants to be a real boy.  Most of the film's humor comes from the narration, and once he meets up with his human lady friend, it largely serves as an explanation of the thoughts of a teenage boy whom, like most real life teenage boys(and sadly, grown men), can only grunt at the pretty girl.

In the grand scheme of things, the fact that R is a zombie is more of a gag then of any real relevance.  Certainly the plot revolves around it, but the plot is pretty stupid:  Zombie meets Girl.  Zombie loves Girl.  Other zombies are impressed and want to love girls too.  That's pretty much the gist of it.  R is so whipped that in the entire second act, in which R and Girl are largely alone together, R seems little more than a leprous mute convincing a pretty girl to love him.  R comes equipped with too much humanity to even seem much of a zombie.  The only real suspense brought on by R's zombie status is whether or not the girl is going to kiss him, because it'd be totally weird, right?

There's some other stuff that happens too.  Girl's dad is the gruff leader of the remaining human civilization, who, understandably, hates zombies.  As for the Montague's, um, zombies; their gruff unyielding father figures are the Bonies, zombies who have completely given up any shred of humanity and have been reduced completely to bone.  Very fast, intuitive and computer generated bone, I might add.  The Bonies don't like that R is getting all cozy with Julie (how could I forget her name?  See previous literary joke) and make every attempt to Bony block his advances.

Everything you expect to happen happens in the end, although probably not what you expected to happen before you started watching it.  Keeping in mind that Warm Bodies is a light-hearted romantic comedy, this is more than adequate, as the film has enough humor and warmth to outweigh the silly plot devices.  It could have been better, but any attempt to do so could have easily turned it into garbage.  Instead, it lies somewhere in the middle; bringing a faint thump back to this zombie heart of mine... Seriously, it gets obnoxiously cute sometimes.


Let me know if there are any rating scales I missed.

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