January and February are the months of the year when Hollywood distributors release movies they don't expect to do very well.
This weekend, Steven Soderbergh's new film, SIDE EFFECTS, is an exception.
But last week I checked out WARM BODIES, because of its clever, funny trailer that unfortunately turned out to be false advertising.
Voiceover of a zombie walking through an airport: What am I doing with my life? I just wanna connect. Why can't I connect with people? Oh, right; it's cause I'm dead.
WARM BODIES has a very clever setup. We watch a young male zombie, walking through what remains of an airport as he tells us his problems.
Voiceover of the zombie: I wish I could introduce myself, but I don't remember my name. I think it started with an "R." that's all I have left. It's kind of a bummer.
Nicholas Hoult is "R," a zombie who thinks and even speaks a little. It's a witty concept to have "R" as the main character, and the film has some fun with that for its first half hour or so.
In fact, WARM BODIES also intends to be a take off on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." During an attack on some humans, "R" falls for Julie at first sight. just looking at her sets his poor heart to beating again. And after eating her boyfriend's brains, he's smitten though naturally, Julie, played by Teresa Palmer, is terrified.
Zombie voiceover: Ok; here we go. Don't be creepy; don't be creepy.
Julie: Why me? Why did you save me?
"R": safe; keep you safe.
It's a terrific setup. but unfortunately, WARM BODIES loses its sense of humor all too soon and becomes a routine adventure/horror film about star crossed lovers who must find a way to be together.
John Malcovich who's old enough to be Julie's grandfather, plays her disapproving dad. That's obstacle number one.
The second obstacle is the constant threat of the hungry "bonies," a group of skeletal zombies who can run like the wind.
The plot is corny, even absurd, and I'm just cynical enough to believe that this whole enterprise is an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the TWILIGHT movies using zombies instead of vampires.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org