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Film review: Warm Bodies, Jonathan Levine film starring Nicholas Hoult

  • @IndyVoices

It takes a certain boldness to make a romantic drama about brain- eating zombies. Jonathan Levine's film, set in a post-apocalyptic world where the undead mooch around an abandoned airport, looking for humans to devour, benefits from excellent production design and make-up.

The zombies are very gruesome indeed but still have flickerings of humanity. When they eat their victims' brain matter, they ingest their memories too.

British actor Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Skins) is excellent as the dreamy R, the zombie who falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer) after feasting on her boyfriend. The undead talk in grunts and monosyllables but his laidback, slacker-style voiceover is surprisingly eloquent. He's also almost certainly the only zombie in film history who listens to Bob Dylan records.

Much of Warm Bodies could pass for an authentic, George A Romero-style horror movie. There is a high quota of blood and gore. John Malkovich as the martinet General keeping the zombies at bay doesn't seem to realise he is in a romcom.

By the final reel, the plotting has become as mushy as the brains the zombies like to eat. Nonetheless, Warm Bodies is an ingenious hybrid that, at its best, manages to be funny, lyrical and gruesome.