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Movie Review

Warm Bodies also known as “Mi novio es un zombie,” “Sangue Quente,” “Agapisa ena zombi,” “Memorias de un zombie adolescente,” “Meu Namorado é um Zumbi,” “Topla tijela,” “Vrela tela”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for zombie violence and some language.

Reviewed by: Charity Bishop
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Comedy Horror Romance Drama
Length:
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
February 1, 2013 (wide—2,900+ theaters)
DVD: June 4, 2013
Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer


zombies

death and final judgment

sin

repentance

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Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
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Featuring: Nicholas Hoult … R
Teresa Palmer … Julie
Analeigh Tipton … Nora
Rob Corddry … M
Dave Franco … Perry
John MalkovichGrigio
Cory Hardrict … Kevin
Daniel Rindress-Kay … Solder #1
more »
Director: Jonathan Levine—“50/50”
Producer: Summit Entertainment
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Distributor: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate

“Cold body. Warm heart.”

Being dead is all “R” (Nicholas Hoult) remembers. He, like so many others crowding in the abandoned airport, is a zombie. How it happened isn’t important. All that matters is his collection of “stuff” that reminds him of being human, and his need to feed.

On one such expedition into the city to find humans, he looks into the eyes of Julie (Teresa Palmer) and is smitten. Suddenly, something more matters than his desire to eat. For some inexplicable reason, R decides to save a girl from death, not realizing that she will wind up saving him. There’s just one detail he doesn’t want to mention to her… the last person he killed was the boy she loved.

Julie, at first, doesn’t understand R, but then begins to see a change in him. Where once all hope was lost, now it sparks again in the belief that even zombies can be redeemed.

I’m not a big zombie movie fan, but the trailers for this quirky romantic comedy won me over. I read the book and then saw the film, and, in comparing the two, the film is better. Not only is the content far less troubling (the book has sexual situations, graphic violence, and profane language), but the subtle but powerful religious undercurrent is more apparent. R is dead. He needs the love of Julie to awaken him, to change him, and to make him fully human again. Christians know what it is like to be a “zombie”—to be dead without Christ, and need help with salvation. His love changes us as powerfully as Julie’s love changes R from a rotting corpse into a living, breathing young man.

While most of the story is positive, some of it relies on zombie behavior to get across what a depraved, sick individual R really is as a corpse—his worst action is in eating the brain of Julie’s boyfriend (he talks about it, but we rarely see it) in order to experience his memories; one is so repulsive to him, of the boy’s final moments, that he spits it out in disgust and starts to cry (repentance for his actions… and that’s the last time he ever eats brains). R’s transformation creates a ripple effect in other zombies; all of them start to dream again, to have heartbeats, to bleed and feel cold and warmth and love. We don’t understand why the cure works, simply that it does, and that love is where it begins.

For a movie revolving around death, it has surprising moments of, albeit dark, humor; the internal monologue of R is both sweet and funny, as he struggles to express what he feels for Julie. And, yes, the allusions to Romeo and Juliet are intentional; there’s even a balcony! Sadly, while there isn’t a lot in the way of profane content, there’s still a half dozen abuses of Jesus’ name, some profanity, and one f-word. Violence involves zombies attacking and chowing down on humans (mostly off-screen). R eats brains on several occasions (he stuffs a crumbly substance into his mouth, but we barely get to see it). Humans gun down zombies and “bonies” (zombies so petrified they no longer look human, but are skeletal) alike. There’s no sexual content, although R does watch in fascination as Juliet strips down to her underwear, in order to get out of soaking wet clothes (we see her from behind… and he does look away).

On the novel jacket, there’s a quote from Twilight author Stephanie Meyer about what an unexpected, touching romantic protagonist R is. Indeed, where her story was about a girl choosing death in order to be with her loved one, here we find a heroine bringing life instead. For many believers, the novel is a difficult and often offensive read, but the film is softened enough that the message of selfless and redeeming love is allowed to shine through.

Violence: Heavy to extreme, but Moderate for a zombie movie / Profanity: Heavy—OMG (6), “Jesus” (4), “God” (2), “hell” (5), f-word (1 or 2), s-words (7), “*ss-hole,” “cr*p” / Sex/Nudity: Moderate—passionate kiss, female rear view in bra and panties, male showering (bare back only), minor cleavage

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I loved this movie. Going in, I knew it was gonna be a classic love story between the beast and the beauty (the zombie and the pretty girl). The content about the life of the zombies can be disturbing, as the main character, R explains he eats brains to dream about their memories. It makes him feel human as he remembers people’s human lives. R’s narration is humorous throughout, as he’s trying to be with the girl.

Throughout the movie, and in the end, R narrates a beautiful message about living and being human. We shouldn’t discriminate against others who aren’t like us. And living with love and joy makes us human. I recommend everyone (above the age of 13, of course) to go watch the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Michael, age 18 (USA)
Positive—Great Movie! I wasn’t expecting much, going to see this movie. It was date night, and there weren’t too many good choices. This movie (while hidden under a zombie movie cover) could be titled “Love Conquers All”. In this film, we see the power of love to overcome, even the greatest of obstacles, conflicts and biases. We see hope come from where there was nothing but despair.

Now, when I speak of love, I don’t mean just romantic love, but love as the Bible speaks of it. “Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8. This movie shows the zombies who are “dead” and ***SPOILER*** they come to life again through the power of love. ***END SPOILER*** If that doesn’t speak of the love of Jesus, I don’t know what does.

***SPOILER*** There are also those zombies in the film that are too far gone “hardened” to accept the love that would bring them back to life. ***END SPOILER***

This to me is also a Biblical picture (though only GOD knows the state of a persons heart, and if it is “hardened”). I think I would sum up the film with the phrase “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:13.

***SPOILER*** It is in this way that the first zombie finally comes back to life. ***END SPOILER***

Definitely, there are offensive elements, and if easily offended by typical zombie movie elements (walking dead, zombies being shot, etc. …) don’t see this film. But if you are able to look past the “packaging,” there is truly a redemption message in this film, and a strong one!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—John, age 39 (USA)
Positive—Despite/because of its premise, this is a cute, funny, romantic comedy with some action. The male lead’s voiceover commentary, and some of the interactions between him, the other zombies, and the living, are hilarious, at times. A short bit of mild, understated anti-US and anti-military comments, some language as noted above, and some “gory” elements when zombies attack, are really the only objectionable items. Gotta wonder about one thing: if humanity was really in danger of extinction, what leader who wasn’t an imbecile would put young women deliberately in harm’s way? If you’re a Christian, you know that’s morally wrong. If you believe the evolutionary fairy-tale, it’s dumb. Either way…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jeremy Klein, age 57 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Your average love story, beautiful girl falls in love with a Zombie. One “F” word that could have been avoided but, all in all it was okay for teenagers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Debbie, age 48 (USA)
Positive—The first zombie movie I’ve ever recommended for others to watch. Minimal gore with a strong redemptive story of second chances and true love. Yes, it could have done without the f-word.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jeff, age 54 (USA)
Negative

none

Comments from young people
Positive—I saw this movie in theaters with some friends and I have to say I was really impressed. The acting, story, and filmmaking quality were all great. The only offensive thing that I found was some violence and some random cuss words that sounded as if they were added to the script last minute to get some cheap laughs. Overall I enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarahkay, age 17 (USA)

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