warm bodies

Warm Bodies

Nicholas Hoult

Directed by Jonathan Levine
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
February 1, 2013

There's a problem. By that I mean how can Hollywood make zombies the new vampires? A vamp can be dark, mysterious and romantic (see Twilight). A lurching, hollow-eyed zombie walks around with oozing pustules and rotting flesh (see The Walking Dead). Who wants to hit on that? Warm Bodies solves that problem. Or at least it tries. Nicholas Hoult, the lead zombie, is an extremely appealing actor. Check out Netflix to watch him grow from child (About a Boy) to adult (A Single Man, X-Men: First Class). Anyway, Hoult is charm personified as R (a living-dead hottie who can't remember the rest of his name). R communicates in grunts with his fellow zombies, including M (Rob Corddry, very good). But writer-director Jonathan Levine (50/50) wisely borrows from Isaac Marion's novel,and has R narrate the action in the voice of a clued-in teen with a wiseass sense of humor. R and his dead buddies hang at an airport, where R uses an abandoned jet to horde souvenirs and a record collection that includes Springsteen's "Hungry Heart." R likes his music analog ("it sounds more alive"). On a raid, the zombies attack some human teens. R chows down on the brains of a dude named Perry (Dave Franco) and absorbs his memories. Say what? Look, I never promised logic. This draws R to Julie (Teresa Palmer), Perry's girlfriend. Julie is also the daughter of Gen. Grigio (John Malkovich in paycheck mode), leader of the survivors. Julie's a rebel. She doesn't waste time grieving for Perry. In short order she's cozying up to R in his airplane and letting him teach her how to walk dead to stay alive. Of course, they fall hard. R doesn¹t even want to eat her brains. That's love. It's the romantic angle that will probably give Warm Bodies box-office ju-ju from Super Bowl weekend to Valentine's Day. You could do worse. There¹s a good deal of fun before the movie sells its cheeky soul to the gods of tween goo. It doesn't help that the Bonies, computer-generated zombie skeletons, can't generate a decent scare. The script is too primly PG-13 to really go for it. Warm Bodies even suggests that true love can help the right zombie grow a new heart. That¹s a con job that makes Bodies lukewarm at best.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Hungry Like the Wolf”

    Duran Duran | 1982

    This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

    More Song Stories entries »