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‘Warm Bodies’

by Giovanni Fazio

Most zombie movies look at the undead and decide they’re a problem best solved with a bullet to the head. But director Jonathan Levine gives us “Warm Bodies,” which suggests that when World War Z comes, all you’ll need is love.

R. (Nicholas Hoult) is a sulky 20-something who looks rather like a skater except for the fact that he’s one of a horde of flesh-eating zombies. But then he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), a live girl whom he rescues from a pack of fellow walkers. As R. tries to communicate with Julie and protect her, she begins to realize that the undead may be able to recover human emotions. Her father (John Malkovich), however, is the head of the surviving human community, and feels the only good walker is a dead walker. Cue the boyfriend-parent conflict.

Usually you can walk out of a movie and at least say what type of movie it was, but while “Warm Bodies” is billed as a “zom-rom-com,” it’s neither funny nor scary nor much of anything really, one of those flicks that’s all concept and no execution. Levine has displayed a sharp sense of humor in his previous films (“50-50,” “The Wackness”), but that’s painfully lacking here, as R. mopes about thinking stuff like “it’s easier not to feel, then I wouldn’t have to feel like this” while another falsetto-voiced pop song plays on the soundtrack. Snore.