‘Warm Bodies’ will warm your heart

Joell Grager

Each year romantic comedies spill into theaters vying for February dollars. This year “Warm Bodies” delivers a perfect concoction of dark comedy with sweet romance that takes the gold.

R (Nicholas Hoult) is a young zombie who begins to question the dull life his kind lead. He encounters Julie (Teresa Palmer) after killing a number of her supply gathering team, and falls into a daze of infatuation.

Using his brain (even though zombies don’t technically have them) R attempts to protect Julie from his fellow zombies.

He whisks her back to his abandoned airplane filled with precious collectibles, a brilliant plot point as R’s collection contains piles of records, justifying the film’s outstanding soundtrack that includes Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Clever sequencing allows the viewer to transition from being on the edge of their seats in fear to falling in love with the film’s hero, R, as he increasingly shows signs of personality and compassion.

You may expect the typical dreary portrayal of zombies, with ridiculous groaning and slow walking movements but shockingly the witty script plays off the dismal surroundings creating huge laughs.

R’s best friend M (Rob Corddry) brings the level of humor to a even higher point in the second half with great dialogue and delivery. After showing concern for R’s romantic entanglement with Julie, M also slowly starts to warm inside.

We’re used to odd walking zombies grunting for a millisecond before some protagonist shoots them in the head, but Hoult accomplishes the task of portraying an emotionally vulnerable corpse who has the potential of becoming a human being again.

Bravo to the makeup team for not overdoing it with the zombies’ appearances and not caving to Hollywood’s glamorization.

The special effects department was similarly subtle in their creation of Bonies, zombies who accept defeat and turn into heart eating monsters. These creatures are creepy, and resemble the aliens from “Signs.”

“Warm Bodies” is a success due to the wonderful casting choices of Hoult and Palmer.

Palmer has finally been given a role with substance she can sink her teeth into. Julie has a range of emotions that Palmer demonstrates beautifully while still conveying a strong female character that could feasibly survive in this desolate world.

“Warm Bodies” is your kind of film if you enjoyed “Zombieland,” it can deal with the gross qualities found in zombies and still have a romantic side that doesn’t groan during a few sweet, sensitive moments.

Don’t worry gents, there is plenty of suspense and comedy interwoven to balance out the sappy.