I've heard plenty of origins for zombie outbreaks -- from the supernatural to the alien -- but I can't say I've ever heard that the cure is love.  Still, this is the premise of Warm Bodies, a comedy that explores young love in the days of flesh-eating undead.
R (Nicholas Hoult) is a zombie.  Not knowing how he died or even what his name is, R shambles around an airport aimlessly, shoulders hunches, pale blue eyes staring blankly.  He collects trinkets and stores them in an airplane, where he listens to old records.  He has "conversations" of a few words with a fellow zombie (played nicely by Rob Corddry), he steers clear of the "bonies" (malevolent skeletons that were zombies but whose flesh all decayed), and he wonders to himself if there's anything more to unlife.

While out on a feeding run, R and his companions ambush some explorers from a walled-off city of humans. During the attack and feeding frenzy, R notices Julie (Teresa Palmer), a young woman, and he decides to keep her safe.  His romantic feelings may stem from his having killed and eaten the brain of her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco), which let R experience Perry's emotions.  Soon feelings start developing between Julie and R, and changes begin happening to the young zombie -- and other zombies around him.  But Julie's father Grigio (John Malkovich), the leader of the walled city, thinks the only good zombie is one shot in the head; the bonies are also getting agitated.  Will love conquer all?  Will Julie find out that R ate her boyfriend?
Warm Bodies is a nice comic nod to both the current zombie and young romance crazes.  Hoult makes for a sympathetic member of the undead, as his scary appearance and groans are belied by his internal monologue.  (While trying to romance Julie he repeats to himself over and over "Don't be weird.")  Palmer is decent but somewhat generic as the teen with daddy issues who falls for the worst possible boy, and Corddry is terrific as the buddy zombie who also feels loneliness.  Warm Bodies goes for less slapstick humor and more subtlety, and at times this slows the movies down; but this movie is often funny and entertaining.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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