Review: Warm Bodies

I’m not sure that a year ago I would have ever thought that a zomromcom could possibly be a thing. There’s just something about zombies… Zombies are supposed to be mindless killing machines. They’re supposed to be an analogue for the darker aspects of mindless mobs, a swarming mass that protagonists can mow down by the dozen without feelings of remorse. They’re not supposed to fall in love.

On the other hand, one nice thing about Warm Bodies was that it feels surprisingly original. Zombies defying expectations been done. Zombies being cured have been done. But I’m not familiar with many where the point of view character is a zombie. And I’ve certainly not heard of zombism being cured through the power of love… It’s so very cheesy but at least it feels new. That’s not something that you see too often.

Then–entirely further into the movie than I would have expected–I realize that at the core it wasn’t really an ‘original’ story at all. It took until the balcony scene for me to realize who R and Julie were. Who would have seen that coming? (A lot of people I’m guessing…) They even had Perry/Paris, M/Mercutio, and Nora the nurse/Juliet’s nurse. It’s been a while since I’ve seen / read another form of Romeo and Juliet, but still. The story diverges somewhat (obviously), but it’s still a really neat shout out.

Now the negative. The movie doesn’t make the least bit of sense. Granted, zombies in general don’t make much sense. If they’re dead, how are they still moving around (and how do they avoid rotting apart?). There are actually a few possibilities from the real world: voodoo concoctions, parasitic wasps and fungi. But in either of the latter cases, how could it be possible to cure? In the former, why could it be contagious? Why would decaying matter make other zombies think you’re one of them (also, for the record: ew), particularly when it was already established that zombies hunt by heartbeat. And why in the world did the love-cure spread? Maybe–maybe–I could understand it spreading to his friend. But further than that? I don’t get it. For that matter, if they did rot apart (Nora did comment with *surprise *that R didn’t smell rotten), what happens when they start coming back?

But my biggest problem with the whole movie? Why R and Julie? Why were they the first? Surely there have been other cases of zombies falling for the victim’s lovers (that was actually pretty neat: the ‘why’ of brain-eating). But then why hadn’t the love-virus manifested itself before? There are a heck of a lot of people in the world. Or I guess a heck of a lot of zombies at least. It’s one of the same problems I have with Harry Potter actually. In years of terror, was Lily Potter really the first to die for her child?

Anyways, I guess Warm Bodies was a decent enough movie overall. I just couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t quite gruesome enough to be a good zombie flick but it was just too weird to be a nice romantic flick. Between the two, it just sort of fell flat. If you want something new, it wouldn’t hurt to go see it, but there are better movies. So Warm Bodies falls down into last place for the year. So it goes.