Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies is a near-perfect genre-changer with an incredible amount of heart, charm and comedy. Warm Bodies successfully manages to blend zombies and romance to make for one unique film that’s bursting with creativity. Levine’s sincere direction, mixed with Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer’s performances makes Warm Bodies one of the year’s most memorable films so far.
R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie. He slouches when he walks and he craves the gooey parts of the human brain just like every other walking corpse, but he’s also very different. He feels; he has actual thoughts and eventually he falls in love with a living human named Julie (Teresa Palmer). R soon realizes that Julie has somehow kick-started his heart, causing him to turn more and more into a human whenever he’s around her.
Things get more interesting when R realizes that this sudden change in heart isn’t just effecting him, but also fellow zombies. Has R and Julie found a cure to the walking dead or is R too far gone to be saved?
Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies is a genre-changer that is certainly going to be remembered for years to come. It goes against all rational ways of thinking and manages to turn a zombie film into a romance with a lot of great comedy. All of these ingredients sound like a recipe for a disaster when combined, but somehow Levine makes it work.
Levine’s known for being a director with lots of range and a really strong eye for telling human stories that focus heavily on a core relationship. Warm Bodies is his most accessible film yet, allowing him to expand his scope, while still remaining anchored on one specific relationship to drive the film. R and Julie make up that relationship and together they make Warm Bodies a charming and creative film that has never really been done before.
Warm Bodies functions outside the realms of traditional zombie and romance films. It’s a hybrid that works within its own set of established rules. By doing this Levine allows for the film to truly grow in front of your eyes, both in terms of story and character building. R and Julie are two fully realized characters, thanks to Levine as a director and storyteller and Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer as gifted young individuals that not only make you like R and Julie, but also make you cheer for them.
Their relationship is the vital piece of the film and luckily Levine was able to grab such gifted performers to give the film its unique beating heart. Warm Bodies has a lot of heart and a lot of charm. It balances out in terms of how it dishes it out. It’s a film that appeals to both old and young audiences, because the universal theme of wanting to be in love or falling madly in love seems to touch just about all walks of life. The zombie element definitely spices things up and adds yet another theme of feeling alone or lost in a confusing world, but if you strip everything away you’re still left with a story of romance.
The film goes far to remain clever and ahead of the curve. It smartly nods at legendary zombie filmmaker George A. Romero, while also borrowing wholesale from Romeo & Juliet. It’s these sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle references that give Warm Bodies an added dose of flavor.
There’s just so much working and very little that doesn’t. It’s almost incredible when you step back and look at how well-made the film is. Jonathan Levine has reminded us yet again why he’s one director that we all need to keep a close eye on. Almost everything he touches manages to become ten times better than it rightfully should and I strongly believe that the reasoning behind it is simply his eye for telling relatable stories about human connection that are both personal and sort of foreign. We’ve all fell in and out of love; just maybe not with a zombie.
Summit’s 1080p video transfer restores the film’s gloomy and dream-like shots with pristine quality. The zombie scenes are notably more blue, dark and lifeless, while the flashbacks pop with warmth. I like how distinctive this transfer is, despite some of the detail getting robbed due to Levine’s choice of filters.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is good, if not slightly overkill. This is a dialogue-centered film, which means the front channels are the most active, while the back pop in to add the film’s musical score, soundtrack and general background noise. The track doesn’t suffer from any sort of inconsistencies, but know to expect something that’s a little more focused on talking and less on blowing things up in a loud manner.
The disc comes with the following bonus material:
- Audio Commentary with Director Jonathan Levine and Actors Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer
- Boy Meets, Er, Doesn’t Eat Girl (HD)
- R&J (HD)
- A Little Less Dead (HD)
- Extreme Zombie Make-Over (HD)
- A Wreck in Progress (HD)
- Bustin’ Caps (HD)
- Beware The Boneys (HD)
- Whimsical Sweetness: Teresa Palmer’s Warm Bodies Home Movies (HD)
- Zombie Acting Tips with Rob Corddry (HD)
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Commentary (HD)
- Shrug & Groan Gag Reel (HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD)
- Digital Copy
- UltraVi0let Digital Copy
Warm Bodies is a film that works wonders despite its unusual-sounding premise and general silliness conveyed in most trailers and clips. It’s just an all-around surprisingly great movie that goes above and beyond its boundaries and limitations to provide you with a highly original story that’s never been done before. Zombies and romantic comedies usually don’t belong in the same sentence, yet for Warm Bodies the two (or three?) fit together perfectly.
Director Jonathan Levine has made a fantastic film here that will go on to change the opinions that most have on zombies and just how far you can take the ever-so-popular sub-genre. Warm Bodies is a very enjoyable film that’s charming, sweet, funny and loaded with heart. It’s something that’ll hopefully be embraced more and more with the years to come. The Blu-Ray is loaded with features and sports great presentations too, making this another disc that you’ll want to purchase without hesitation. Speaking of which, Amazon has the Blu-Ray for $19.99, you can pick it up here.