Film review: Warm Bodies (4 out of 5 stars)

Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies.
Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies.

Zombies - those undead people who live on flesh and look well past their sell by date - are not normally associated with humour.

However, two of the low-key surprise comic hits in the past six months have involved these shambling relics of humankind.

Cockneys v Zombies was full of British actors and had plenty of comic moments.

And now we have Warm Bodies, starring Wokingham’s Nicholas Hoult, which has a host of laugh out loud moments.

Hoult has progressed well since his young days in the hit film About a Boy and his American accent isn’t bad at all.

In Warm Bodies he plays ‘R’, a zombie who can’t remember anything about his former life and has a hankering for flesh and brains.

However, one day he meets the very much alive Julie (An Aussie who also has a good American accent) and something strange happens to him.

He starts to change and act more human, much to the annoyance of the Bonies (extreme zombies who have lost all their flesh).

Director and writer Jonathan Levine has adapted the original Isaac Marion book and come up with a heart-warming (literally) tale that also keeps some tension.

The strength of R’s character is that we hear his thoughts.

He spends the first ten minutes of the film shuffling round the airport where he lives describing his life and meeting his best friend M (they enjoy a good grunt at each other).

The movie only really struggles when ordinary humans are involved and John Malkovich’s role as Julie’s gun-totting dad doesn’t rank among his most enthralling.

Thankfully the action isn’t sanitised and even with a 12A certificate there’s plenty of zombie action to make you squirm.

The story pans out fairly predictably towards the end but even this can’t ruin the comic scenes, comments and actions.

And it’s 98 minutes long - after several weeks of movies over two and a half hours in length, it made a pleasant change not to feel like I’d become part of the cinema.

Overall, it’s a clever twist on the zombie theme that will make you chuckle and feel good.

Film details: Warm Bodies (12A) 98mins.

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rod Corddry

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley

Steve Payne