Jennie’s Review: Warm Bodies ~ New to DVD & Streaming

Letter Grade:

The Good:

The writing is funny, heartfelt, and clever
Nicholas Hoult’s delivery is perfect
(For me anyhow) Not too violent or scary

The Bad:

The CGI characters could be better
Some of the supporting cast

Cast & Crew:

Directed and (Screenplay) written by Jonathan Levine
Based on the Novel by Isaac Marion
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, and John Malkovich

Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and language

The movie opens with our hero, and main zombie, “R” (Nicholas Hoult) shuffling through an airport.  His inner monologue is the voiceover to this scene.  He waxes poetically about what it is like to wander around the airport all day, to communicate through mumbling and grunting to his best friend (the also zombified Rob Corddry), and how it’s a pain to get food when you move so slow.  As R and his group of zombie friends are on their pilgrimage for food, we meet Julie (Teresa Palmer) and a group of people who are still alive being sent on a trip out beyond the protective walls to find supplies for the non infected inhabitants. As is pretty predictable, these two groups end up in the same place and it doesn’t end well for most of the characters on either side.  However, something happens when R sees Julie and instead of trying to eat her brains, he rescues her from the situation and they head back to his home (an abandoned plane) at the airport.  As they say, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


If you’ve read my bio, you would know that I do not do scary movies. So, seeing as this is a zombie movie, I hadn’t originally planned on seeing it.  However, I had heard really good things and since it is rated PG13, I decided it was probably safe to go ahead and watch it.  I’m really glad I did.

The writing is truly superb and makes the movie.  Especially considering that the main character is unable to really speak out loud for the majority of the film and relies on mostly voiceover and memories.  Hoult does a wonderful job with his body language in this role.  He needed to be able to make his zombie motions match up in the most logical ways to what the voiceover was saying, and he does this perfectly.  There are a few scenes that are campy or not so subtle nods to other stories (specifically Romeo and Juliet), but I think this makes the whole thing more charming.  The soundtrack is also great and probably has the best 20 second movie moment that has ever been set to “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions.

In one scene, Julie hands R a Polaroid camera they found for him to take a picture.  The shot is then framed as though you are seeing how he is seeing her through the view finder.  I really loved this brief overly artsy moment in an otherwise mostly straightforward (visually anyhow) movie.  There were other sorts of visuals that weren’t so great.  The “Bonies” in particular (Zombies that are so far gone they have ripped off their own skin and will attack zombies as well as humans) are seemingly purely CGI and not that convincing.  There were a couple close-ups of them that looked good, but I’m willing to bet those were done with prosthetics and not CGI.  My only other complaint would be that several of the supporting actors performances (not including Corddry or the overly intense military leader/Julies father John Malkovich) are a bit rough.  This is very minor though since the characters I am referencing are barely in the movie so it doesn’t really affect my overall opinion.


I liked Warm Bodies way more than expected.  It’s funny, hopeful, heartwarming, and clever.  Out of the seemingly hundreds of zombie movies out there, you don’t generally run into one that is from the zombies perspective, nor would you expect it to be as charming.  I should have given this movie a chance in the theater, especially since writer/director Jonathan Levine’s previous movie (50/50) was one of my favorites of 2011.

As I said earlier, this movie is rated PG13 so it is not terribly violent, but keep in mind that it is still a zombie movie so there are still bits of violence and gore, albeit not anything close to rated R gore.  If you are up for that, I definitely think you should check this one out. I also think that I’ll be looking into the short story and the subsequent novel that led to this wonderful film.

*Photos courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Jennie Stoddart (24 Posts)

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