Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Hoult’

Because some things demand your immediate attention

Warm Bodies (w & d Jonathan Levine)

Grade:  A-

Zombie movies are a dime a dozen.  It’s a rare treat to find one that offers something original to the genre.  And while ‘zombie romances’ are not necessarily a new thing, Levine (who previously directed the cancer comedy, 50/50, and the criminally under seen and domestically unavailable, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) adeptly brings a fresh eye to this tale of the walking dead.

Star Nicholas Hoult is on the cusp of superstardom.  He’s set to appear once more as Hank ‘The Beast’ McCoy in next year’s sequel to X-Men:  First Class.  He’s going to be in the Mad Max reboot.  He’s come a long way from his breakout role as a 13-year old kid in the wonderful About A Boy.  His leading lady here is Teresa Palmer, a very lovely Australian actress who has been mainly playing supporting characters in a variety of projects.  I think this film qualifies as her real first leading role and I hope to see here in such a capacity again.

Hoult plays zombie ‘R’ and his narration drives the plot, giving us insight to the inner thoughts of a dead man who can only communicate through grunts and the occasional random word.  He lives in the airport with others of his kind, never sleeping.  Palmer plays Julie, a human survivor of the zombie plague.  She lives behind a giant wall in the city with others led by her father, played by a grumpy John Malkovich.  The two ‘meet cute’ when her group of the living, searching for supplies beyond the wall, runs into his group of the dead who is searching for some fresh food outside their normal friendly confines. 

In the fray, he kills her boyfriend but upon seeing her is immediately attracted.  He saves her from the carnage and spirits her away to safety in his own private airplane.  Julie is horrified at the situation but is somewhat relieved after ‘R’ clumsily articulates his intentions to protect her from his fellow zombies.  Her relief slowly evolves into fascination towards the ‘man’ who saved her life.  The two grow closer as he tries to help her get home and both of them experience fundamental changes that will affect not just them but all of the living and the dead.

If it all sound a little Twilighty, that’s because it is.  But if that’s what you want, you should probably steer clear.  This film is more clever, witty, and at times genuinely scary than any single one of those fang-banger flicks could ever hope to be.  I would be very surprised if this treat of a movie, perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, doesn’t end up in my year-end top 10.

Highly recommended!