Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies is a film more for the dark fantasy teen crows than well-worn Zombie fans; they even brush over how the apocalypse happened, which initially was a treat but in hindsight felt lazy. This film is not for Zombie movie fans at all, let me explain. Imagine you were talking to a life long friend and they said that their favourite books were ‘I am Legend’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘Salem’s Lot’ and that they really enjoyed the film adaptation of ‘Interview With a Vampire’ and the whole ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ saga. Now imagine the amount of physical and emotional damage that would come at you when you handed them a Twilight boxset assuring them that would love it. This is a very similar reaction as what you could expect when handing Warm Bodies to anyone who enjoys ‘Dawn of The Dead’ or any other genuinely good zombie film.

Need I say more?

I did eventually realise the reason why films like Twilight and Warm Bodies are so successful. It is because watching a film like this is like walking in to the meetinghouse of a dangerous cult. Nothing makes sense, everything you know is pissed upon but they so diligently tell you that what’s going on is perfectly good for you that you eventually give in and love it.

Warm Bodies is, for those completely unaware, a film about a zombie we eventually come to know as ‘R’ who falls madly in love with a girl after witnessing her incandescent beauty blasting out through his mind after he eats her boyfriends brains. A bit like reading some girls diary for a laugh then suddenly realising she is deep, profound and absolutely perfect for you in every way, and then feeling bad about it. The female lead in it, Julie I think it was, is played someone that must’ve answered the following casting call ad.

Are you physically exactly like a blonde Kristen Stewart?
Can you emulate her drab, self obsessed delusional type cast behaviours?
Can you irritate someone so much that their eyelids force themselves closed?
Even without saying anything?
Then call us now at 555- KRISTEN-WAS-BUSY

Apparently all it takes for a zombie apocalypse to be cured is for a semi attractive girl to remind one zombie that under her clothes she is naked, and he will almost instantly become human, infecting every one of the other zombies around him in the process and getting rid of the zombie disease in a vast re-humanising. Now it couldn’t be as simple as that, so of course a zombie ate Julie’s mother, and her dad is now in charge of a whole city of military sent to deal with the removal of zombies.  

John Malkovich is actually pretty great as her dad; everyone else is awful. One of the zombies actually shows better acting and more emotion than any of the cast who are so wooden you could elicit maple syrup from them. The cast of AMCs The Walking Dead would’ve wiped the floor with everyone in this film in the blink of an eye, then probably spent six hours talking about how much it hurt their feelings, but it would’ve been a damn good show. The teenagery-ness makes it what it is whether that be bad or good.

The zombies also have different kinds of zombie chasing them, so there’s now ‘good’ flesh eating murderers and ‘bad’ flesh eating murderers. Zombies don’t deserve to be weakened by teenage dreams, they are supposed to be relentlessly single minded, not victims of their own emotions like ‘R’ in this film. In most zombie films you feel for the main human characters life, but what you really want to see is a massive horde of zombie appearing and tearing apart a city in fifteen minutes. This film suffers from a lack of most things good about zombie films and is only mildly entertaining. I’m very aware of course that these films are not made for the likes of me, and in some respects is just a re-imagining of the Twilight formula. For the audience it’s aimed at I imagine it’s probably very enjoyable, and for the audience it isn’t aimed at there are many more films out there for you, as well you know. 

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

Warm Bodies at CeX

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