movie thoughts: Warm Bodies (2013)

Warm Bodies poster

Warm Bodies is a classic example of preview audiences dropping the ball. What ends up being an okay movie could have been great with just a few tweaks and I feel like a few notes from preview audiences and some quick recording sessions could have brought this up to cult classic level.

The plot is a great change of pace from your typical Walking Dead stories – R is a zombie, shambling around day in, day out, wondering what has become of his life…er, afterlife? Then one day he bumps into Julie (and by “bumps” I mean him and his zombie friends attack her and her human friends). But R is attracted to Julie and he finds his undead life as new meaning when he saves her from being eaten. And this one small act changes everything.

The problem is that the movie starts of really strong – While R meanders around the airport and grunts at his fellow zombies, his very articulate voice over narrates what life has become for him. From the start, you have to laugh as R describes his daily routine and you realize that this zombies life is relatively similar to yours. He just needs purpose.

Unfortunately, instead of just letting this by R’s story, the screenwriter then takes us over to meet Julie and her friends, who are far less hilarious. In fact, every moment that R is not doing his narration is pretty forgettable. All the great lines come from his internal monologue and about halfway through, after R and Julie leave the airport and try to venture back to the city, we lose it entirely and the film just drags like…well like a zombie!

It was a cute movie and fun to watch once, but I doubt I would pick it up again. It might get a following among zombie fans (it’s the perfect Valentine movie for Walking Dead fans), but it’s not consistently funny enough for me to want to see it again. And all they had to do was add a few more voice overs and they would have been golden…

3 stars

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