Monday, August 5, 2013

"Warm Bodies" Movie Review – A Zombie Film for Hipsters

Runtime: 98 minutes
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Rating: PG-13
Director: Jonathon Levine

R is a zombie, but the film skips over what happened that turned people into zombies. Since he can't remember his name, he just calls himself R. Unlike other zombies, the ones in this film form close relationships and connections with each other, and they hunt in packs. R heads off with a group one day after leaving the airport where they live, and they encounter a group of very much alive humans.

After killing a guy named Perry, R absorbs some of his memories, which leads him to grabbing Perry's girlfriend Julie. He keeps remembering moments that the two shared, and he decides that he must save her. He takes her back to the airport, and the more time they spend together, the more he starts to remember about humanity. When Julie leaves him for the comfort of her own people, he and a group of outsider zombies must find her to save the world.

Before "Warm Bodies" came out, I decided to read the book, and it was probably a mistake. The further I read into the book, the more I wanted to roll my eyes. The book is clearly a zombie story written for hipsters, and the movie version plays like a zombie movie for hipsters. This is a movie where the main character wears Beiber-style haircut and a red hoodie for the entire film, and he woos a woman by playing her music that he other people already know, but hipsters decided was cool again.

The entire time I watched the movie, I kept rolling my eyes. Oddly enough, the two guys I watched it with actually liked it a lot better than I did. After reading the reviews, I couldn't understand why so many people loved it. Then I started reading all the little teenagers comparing it to "Twilight," and it suddenly made sense. Adding to it was probably a blurb I read about the author of the book. It mentioned how he wrote several other books before making it big, and made it seem like it was such a struggle for him. Big deal. I've been working as a freelance writer for over five years now, and even though Hollywood hasn't knocked down my door, I still manage to make a good living and feel successful.

I fully admit that I went into the movie with preconceived notions, but "Warm Bodies" didn't leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. While the two leads had some chemistry, their relationship didn't make sense. The book actually did a better job of setting things up between them, while the film had them spend a few days together and fall crazy in love. It also didn't seem like Julie had any real feelings for him, but we were still supposed to root for them as a couple.

I also missed seeing any explanation for the outbreak. R just tells us that he doesn't remember what happened, so we don't know why people became zombies, if they turn other people into zombies, or how some humans managed to survive. The lack of background and the poor excuse for a love story just left me feeling cold.

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