Warm Bodies (PG-13) Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies is better than it should be, not as good as it could be, and somehow irresistably likable. If you’ve seen the trailer, you pretty much know what the movie is — a romantic comedy where one of the leads is a zombie and the other one isn’t. It’s kind of a horror movie take on a certain famous play about star-crossed lovers by Mr. Shakespeare — complete with a balcony scene, but with added zombie action, and played for laughs. If it’s rarely much more than that, and occasionally it is, it’s never anything less. Considering how few movies, especially at this time of year, pull even that much off, this is really no mean feat. A good deal of what works about Warm Bodies lies with the casting, especially Nicholas Hoult as R, the lovestuck zombie. Though he’s been in other movies, most notably as the student with a crush on Colin Firth in A Single Man, most famously as Hank McCoy/Beast in X-Men: First Class, Hoult remains best known for playing the boy in About a Boy. This is his first shot at carrying a film, and regardless of whether it propels him to actual stardom, he certainly pulls it off. The film does a shrewd balancing act with the horror elements. It downplays them less for purposes of audience discomfort, one suspects, than for that PG-13 rating, but the horror content is most certainly there. This, after all, is a picture where the lovers “meet cute” when their eyes meet while R is in the process of eating her boyfriend (Dave Franco) — not that we much care, because her boyfriend is pretty much a jerk. It’s rarely hysterically funny, but it manages to maintain an amusing giddiness for most of its length, which is perhaps the best approach for a movie about a zombie-human romance.
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Jonathan Levine
Producer: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Bruna Papandrea
Cast: Analeigh Tipton, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Nicholas Hoult, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, Cory Hardrict, Justin Bradley and Ayisha Issa