Shaun Of The Dead has a lot to answer for: a parade of dumb zombie spoofs in its wake. So it comes as a very pleasant surprise that writer-director Jonathan Levine (who made the lovely Joseph Gordon Levitt dramedy 50/50) has taken an original approach to the undead in this irresistible zombie romantic comedy, Warm Bodies.
A tale told from the point of view of a zombie who is still a little bit human inside, it’s a fresh, invigorating twist on the genre — with knowing, gigglesome nods to Romeo And Juliet and any number of modern romances.
In a post-apocalyptic world devastated by a zombie plague, surviving humans have gathered around John Malkovich’s hard-core General Grigio to battle the walking dead. Meanwhile ‘R’ (Hoult) – a slightly putrifying but still cute zombie who has forgotten his past life and his own name but thinks it began with an R — mooches around being lonesome and fed up with being dead. On a foray for supplies General Grigio’s daughter Julie (Palmer) and her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco, brother of James) cross paths with R and his zombie pack and it doesn’t go well for Perry. But R looks into Julie’s eyes and somehow can’t eat her, abducting her and stashing her in his hideaway instead. While he sustains himself on small portions of Perry’s brain he experiences his victim’s memories and falls in love with his captive, who returns the feeling. This somehow triggers a dormant spark of humanity, changing R and impacting on his fellow flesh-eaters. Love can change the world, see.
There is plenty of wit, irony and humour and Levine uses music and timeless gags (R meeting Julie’s dad, classic) to charming and funny effect – like a wicked Pretty Woman homage when Julie and her unflappable BFF (Analeigh Tipton) give R a makeover. In the end it’s all about what it is to be human, and it’s a romantic, optimistic little corker, delightfully acted, thoroughly engaging and entertaining.
Is Warm Bodies suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This film has a 12A certificate so should be fine for teenagers and older pre-teens.
The zombie make-up is lightly gruesome and R snacks on pieces of brain jelly.
Violence in zombie attacks and a big to-the-death combat scene are not suitable for younger and sensitive children, but it’s absolutely teen friendly.
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