Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies is a movie that suffered from the tragic "solid concept, shoddy execution." The idea was there, but it just wasn't fleshed out in the right way. Nothing seemed realistic, and it was a disappointment.

Warm Bodies is kind of bordering on a 2.5/3 rating. On the one hand, it's a really cool concept, and it finally gives an explanation for why zombies eat brains (I think Roeper said that actually, but it's probably what everyone will think whether they saw his review or not). On the other hand, it was basically adapted from a 7-page short story, and it felt like it. Sure, the author expanded it into a novelette, and then a screenwriter tried to condense that into a movie, but there were a lot of things that just didn't feel fully thought out.

It didn't make sense that the kids would get sent out on a drug run alone. What about all the trained army guys? I guess Perry was a trained army guy, but all the other ones had fatigues.  I think some older people would've gone out with them, at least. The zombies were awfully agile. I guess they were supposed to be still sort of human, human enough to come back, anyway. It's a really dopey concept that all zombies need is to be shown compassion and they can come back to humanity, though.

So many things about this movie didn't work. The makeup was hokey, the special effects were transparent. The boneys were terrible, and so was the sunrise before Julie and R jumped in the water.

The kids didn't take anything seriously (was it their first time out or what?). John Malkovich was barely in the movie; it was practically a cameo. I would've liked to've seen more of what it was like behind the wall. They wrapped it up too tidily, too. Oh, all the zombies turned back to humans and the boneys died and the wall came down like a week later? How wonderful. And unlikely.

The movie has about 10,000 featurettes, and I've gotten through most of them by now. They said they had to be careful not to make the zombies too gory, not missing limbs or having their faces falling off, because it had to be believable that they'd be reintroduced into human society. How realistic is that? Logically, wouldn't some of them be pretty torn up? Why not present it realistically? They said they were trying to keep a PG rating, which is just..insane, so maybe that was short for "PG-13," which is what it got. Maybe that was the problem – it was too watered down, too happy, too much of a fairy tale. I don't want my zombie movies to be that Disney. At the end I was glad that M didn't die, but really, nobody died, and that was part of the problem. You can't have a sense of triumph without some sort of loss, or there's no adversity.

It was pretty funny that Perry and Julie looked exactly the same in the 8-years-ago flashback as they did in present day. I think it would be interesting to read the book. I like the theme of trying to connect with people. Apparently the author wrote a prequel; not sure how interested I am in that. I got the Romeo/Juliet vibe when she was on the balcony, but I didn't realize how the theme was really supposed to tie into the entire thing, even the names R and Julie. And the fact that they were from two opposing sides. Totally went right over my head.

There were good moments in the movie. R driving the car was pretty fun. I loved how his eyes changed when he turned fully human again. But that just reminds me of another terrible plot point. Grigio shot him in the shoulder and said something like, "The next shot is the head, Julie, get out of the water." If he wanted to kill him, he would've just shot him in the head in the first place. There was no reason to hit him in the shoulder first. So in reality, he would've been dead, end of story. Plus, he already had word that the zombies were fighting the boneys, and seemed to've decided to let the zombies live, so it didn't make any sense that he'd kill R.

R's monologues were the selling point for the movie. They were a huge part of the book, as best I can tell, and they should've been used more in the movie. Grigio has to be pretty bummed about killing his wife. I guess he killed her, anyway. He made a comment along the lines of people turning and him shooting them, like what happened with his wife. Knowing she could've turned back if he just would've had a little hope has to suck. Tons of people in The Walking Dead keep their loved ones around after they turn. Then again, some of those people are pretty terrible, so maybe that's not the kind of leader you want.

I think I wanted to like this movie more than it deserves. I guess its major failing really comes in terms of being realistic. The whole thing just seemed fake and hollow. The gore wasn't scary, the danger didn't feel real, nothing felt like it was actually happening. Maybe that can be blamed on the director. He was really excited to get to show off his cool "visual style" and "tricks" and whatnot, since apparently his last few movies were talking heads. I noticed a lot of young people were involved in making this movie – writer, screenwriter, director. They just don't know what they're doing yet, and it comes off as a freshman effort. I should probably go with a 2.5 here, but I'm sticking with the 3. It gets carried practically on originality alone.

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