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Warm Bodies

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton
Director: Jonathan Levine

Star-crossed lovers and zombie invasions aren't new. In fact, those story lines have been recycled for years. However put them together and you get Warm Bodies: an movie that does not gratify on originality, but its uniqueness to create a new angle on stories that seem to be set in stone. Starring somewhat unknown celebrities, it gets in the genre game and favorably makes it a hit. This could have been made with famous people and it would be a certified box office hit, but when made with two people easing their way into the industry, it was a gamble and it paid off. While it is not anywhere on my top favorite movies, Warm Bodies deserves a two thumbs up.

In an alternate universe, zombies have taken over the world, and humans have barred themselves into domes where they live through their means and try to survive the zombie attacks. Zombies, on the other hand, feed on human flesh, having a preference for the brains, and also live in groups. Zombies, in this scenario, are controlled by a bigger force called Boneys. According to the book it was based on, Boneys are creatures that are beyond redemption. We first meet R, and he tells us about his life and how zombies live. On one of their hunts, he crosses paths with a girl named Julie, who he evidently saves and brings back to his home in order to keep her safe. The two bond over music, a driving montage and so forth, their relationship striking some change in the air.

The entire movie is played out by R's point of view, and his narration makes it to be a personal montage, his journey to living a life as a zombie, and the transcendent change that eventually happens to him when he strikes a peculiar friendship with Julie. It's a no-brainer, but playing with an idea such as this is refreshing for the genre. It's not just about an apocalypse and people fighting against it; there was an added twist (for a lack of a better word) to make it different. Even playing it from the zombie's point of view is a change. They are given some human characteristics, and they have some innate humanness in them. 

The movie doesn't boost a stellar cast, although the actors are somewhat relatively known. You get Nicholas Hoult headlining the movie, with Teresa Palmer as his leading lady. Dave Franco plays a cold (read: not zombie) character, and other supporting actors include Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry and John Malkovich. The supporting characters are only given a few minutes of screen time, but they manage to steal some of their scenes, even by mere seconds. The cast doesn't have much chemistry; I felt that they were just all assembled together, thrown the script and their roles, and began to shoot. However, they played their roles well enough to keep the plot going, so even if they lacked chemistry, it didn't ruin the story.

Another factor I liked is the soundtrack. I like how the music chosen was subtle, yet pretty good. I actually feel that the soundtrack is a different entity from the movie. It's good on its own, but I won't think to associate it with the movie. I think their main selling point is the idea they played with, and it paid off. It was a refreshing watch, and it's something that closed the possibility of having some sort of sequel, closing the story with a good note. While I thought it added something to the zom-rom-com genre (mostly the zom-rom, not the comedy -- it lacked the comedy), it wasn't out of this world. Still, a good watch, and should go see it if you're up for a new flick. 

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