Warm Bodies - Blu-ray Review

'those wanting something in between Zombieland's cynicism and Twilights tween-friendly mantra should, in particular, find something to love'

As a piece of directing, large parts of Warm Bodies are hard to fault, especially during the first half of its ninety-eight minute runtime. Jonathan Levine, who also wrote the script, adapted from Isaac Marion's novel, gives us a reason to care for zombie R (Nicholas Hoult), with his downbeat slacker humour and lightness of tone. The visuals are sharp and snappy and Levine neatly overcomes the problem of having a lead who essentially can't speak by infusing the voiceover will a participatory narrative that sees R chime in at just the right moments. For a time, Warm Bodies is a joy.

The problems start to arrive when Levine allows his film to turn into Just Another Supernatural Romance, by way of Just Another Zombie Movie. The decision to clearly Twilight-ise some of the Romance (the well-shared publicity still of Hoult and co-star Teresa Palmer looking blue in a pool of water is a particularly poor choice, and a poor scene) contrasts with the innovation of the early smarts Warm Bodies shows. Add to this a pretty typical grumpy-Dad narrative (as Dad, it doesn't help that John Malkovich is on autopilot) and the decision to ram the Romeo & Juliet links down viewer's throats by putting the balcony scene on screen, and you've got a film that seriously falters in its second half.

For a time though, this is light good fun and those wanting something in between Zombieland's cynicism and Twilight's tween-friendly mantra should, in particular, find something to love. R's relationship with best friend M (Rob Corddry) is introduced to us whilst both mumble silently at a bar, Levine happy to play against gender stereotypes, similarly having idiot 'hero' Perry (Dave Franco) blunders in to a gun fight where the girls (Palmer and Analeigh Tipton, as friend Nora) are infinitely more accomplished. The two lovers communicating through music isn't new but it is sweet and well-judged and the slyly funny narration doesn't wear out its welcome.

If only all of that could last right until the percussive blasts of the finale, which too are impressive. The problem is that there's just too much wet filler; too many shots of forbidden lovers messing around in cold pools, for the really innovative stuff to completely mask. It leaves Warm Bodies feeling fun, but fairly empty; with a bit of bite, but lacking several zombie teeth.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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