Saturday, March 30, 2013

Movie Review: "Warm Bodies" - Not So Brain Dead

Normally, getting Red Dot Diva to watch a rom-com is one of the worst mental tortures a person could ever inflict on her.

Just the thought of sharing lovey-dovey scenes in a dark room with a hundred people or so makes her break out in a cold sweat.

The movie "Warm Bodies", however, was different.

It wasn't just a rom-com. It was a zom-com. And it wasn't just a zom-com. It was a zom-com with tall, lanky English actor Nicholas Hoult in a leading role as emo zombie boy, R.

If you found Nicholas familiar, he was the unforgettable "About A Boy" kid who has now grown up to be a compellingly good actor. Yes, he was also the young Hank McCoy aka Beast in "X-Men: First Class". Which already makes "Warm Bodies" cooler than most rom coms.

With obvious references to the other popular teen inter-species/ horror-creature *coughTwicoughlight* "forbidden" love story as well as the classic Shakespearean tale of "Romeo and Juliet", lead actress Theresa Palmer even bore an uncanny resemblance to K-Stew. But blonder, cuter and with more expression and much better acting. As Juliet, the daughter of a military leader of the surviving humans (by the ever-snarling John Malkovich), she is the human love interest and 'the cure' for R.

The movie's opening scenes roll out at an abandoned airport that is crawling with zombies. One of these is R - who begins delivering his rambling deep thoughts in a wistful narration that gives you all sorts of feels. "I just want to connect. Why can't I connect with people? Oh, right, it's cause I'm dead," R muses, in a somewhat maudlin conclusion.

Well, at least R still has a friend - another older male zombie buddy called M (Rob Corddry). They exchange masculine moans regularly at a bar. (Not unlike what happens at any Irish pub here, Red Dot Diva supposes.)
From then on, the movie hardly misses a beat with its off-beat humour and charm. It sure doesn't help that R's unnervingly large piercing blue undead eyes stare across the movie screen in a lovelorn haze. Even Red Dot Diva has to admit that they were actually pretty attractive. Yucks, right?

There is no lack of action either from the typical human-zombie fights or chases. In fact, it was in one of those first fight scenes, that had Juliet kicking some zombie butts, which promptly sent R reeling into the abyss of love. Thereby, triggering memories and stumbling upon the cure for zombification.

Red Dot Diva has a warning though. The various scenes showing R possessing witty thoughts and a fair amount of sensory abilities and mobility (he loves a good tune on vinyl and even drives a car), would totally insult those viewers who much prefer their zombies to be just the walking dead.

And as in almost all tales, there are the necessary villains. In the case of "Warm Bodies", the main baddies are the Boneys - zombies who have degenerated into walking skeletons but somehow still retain an awesome amount of speed. And they have a beef with fellow zombies who want to be cured.

Which all sounds quite silly and illogical, Red Dot Diva has to say. But then on another level, "Warm Bodies" is also brilliant as there are many real life parallels one could draw from the different groups - the humans who kill zombies without question, the "curable" zombies who yearn to live again, and the Boneys who will devour anything with a beating heart (don't they sound like some people in your office?)

So, after 98 minutes of "Warm Bodies", Red Dot Diva left the theatre feeling very very scared.


'Coz she actually managed to leave her brains behind and enjoyed the sweetly delivered tale of poignant zombie yearnings. Maybe there is a cure for her and rom-(zom)-coms after all.


The following is a mini instructional video to zombies out there who want to start their heart pumping again:


Red Dot Diva would like to violently hack up Singapore Zombie Walk for helping her come to a horrifying realization that her stonecold heart still beats.

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