Warm Bodies (2013)

(On Cable TV, December 2013) Either I’m reaching terminal boredom with the zombie genre or my expectations ran too high for this unusual take on the zombie mythos: Warm Bodies has exceptional qualities, and yet I found myself bored through most of its duration.  On the positive side, Warm Bodies attempts something new(ish) with the zombie genre: Setting up a romance between a zombie guy and a human girl.  Making Johnny Undead sympathetic, of course, requires two complementary strategies: Making our hero more human than zombie, for once, and setting up something-worse-than-regular-zombies for another.  Once you figure out the course of Warm Bodies, though, there isn’t much left to watch: This Romeo-and-Juliet adaptation goes to the expected places, and while it does so with a certain amount of wit, the shambling walk to the next plot point feels overly long.  At least Nichola Hoult is fine as the narrating zombie protagonist, and director Jonathan Levine does the most with his material.  Montréal-area viewers will delight to see a film explicitly set in the city: not only featuring Mirabel airport and the Olympic Stadium, but showcasing a few long-shots of the city as seen from Mont-Royal.  I suspect that my mind may have wandered during Warm Bodies, and that it should work a little better for most.  It remains another quirky entry in the zombie canon, one that shows better than most the inevitable domestication of even our starkest fears.

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