2013, Movies

Warm Bodies (2013, Jonathan Levine)

From the very beginning, this movie – and presumably its source, the novel – violates many if not most genre conventions. So maybe it shouldn’t judged on the terms of those conventions. Because if it is judged on the conventions of the genre, it is bad.

But I guess if it willfully violates the genre’s conventions, maybe I should look at it differently, especially since those conventions are rather arbitrary and have hardly stayed static for the entire existence of the film genre. (Personally, I prefer my zombies as reanimated corpses only, but I understand how maybe someone else my prefer their zombies with slightly more pep or verve.)

So trying to evaluate it without relying too much on those conventions: I still have lots of issues. For one, because zombies can no longer be bad the movie has to invent a new level of super zombies who are bad. For another, as the ex-girlfriend noticed it takes far longer to “return” Julie to her home than to find her in the first place, which is a pretty obvious plot device so that their relationship can grow.

And everything is telegraphed:

  • we know they will fall in love – duh, it’s a zombie romantic comedy
  • and we know exactly how the conflict with Julie’s father will play out
  • and we can pretty much guess – SPOILER ALERT! – that Love will save the day, as it does. (Jesus tapdancing Christ that is corny.)

Really, all this infection needed was some kissing – not even sex – to awaken the latent humanness in these zombies that was suppressed when they were bitten. Basically, when the zombie apocalypse happens, we should just kiss them all. And mean it.

The only thing keeping me from rating this lower is that all of this is sort of standard for this type of thing, so I really can’t be too hard on it.


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