Warm Bodies 2½/4 – a movie review by James Berardinelli

April 11, 2013 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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As if it wasn’t bad enough that Twilight defanged vampires, turning them into whiny emo Harlequin romance heroes, now Warm Bodies has done something similar for zombies.

Granted, that latter evisceration is more challenging than the former. After all, sexuality has often been associated with vampires. But zombies? Mindless, shuffling corpses that reek of rotting flesh? Warm Bodies has found a way to make them sexy. One might be willing to acknowledge the Herculean achievement if the movie wasn’t so hopelessly mediocre. It wants to be funny, charming, scary, and dramatic. It ends up being a little of each but not successful as any one.

This is Dawn of the Dead meets Romeo & Juliet with an Army of Darkness sensibility. Admittedly, that sounds like a great premise and I’m sure it got everyone all lathered up in the pitch meeting. But the tone is all over the place, the script is vacillates between witty and brain-dead, and the PG-13 sensibility neuters anything resembling edginess. At least the lead actors are capable and engaging and there’s some nice chemistry in place. But Warm Bodies left me more frustrated than satisfied because the film is content to underwhelm with fertile material and rarely attempts anything interesting.

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