• Warm Bodies Nicholas Hoult Rain - H 2012
Jonathan Wenk/Summit Entertainment

The Bottom Line

This character-driven genre meld could have used more edge and energy, and less obvious message-mongering, but it scores in terms of atmosphere, humor and charm.

Opens: Friday, Feb. 1 (Summit Entertainment)

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob CorddryAnaleigh Tipton

Screenwriter-director: Jonathan Levine

The zom-rom-com arrives, with Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer as the star-crossed duo in a lighthearted postapocalyptic spin on Romeo and Juliet.

Warm Bodies, the latest permutation of the zombie screen phenomenon, places heart over horror and romantic teen angst over sharp social commentary. The low gore quotient and emphasis on young love might disappoint genre purists, but for those open to the idea of a gently goofy mash-up, the film is strong on atmosphere and offers likably low-key, if somewhat bland, charms. As a date movie for teens and twentysomethings that nods toward edgy fantasy while favoring down-to-earth mellowness, the Summit release is primed to hit the box-office sweet spot.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/TrtBkN

The story’s dystopian versions of Romeo and Juliet are Nicholas Hoult’s R — he can’t remember his full name, or anything else about his pre-apocalypse existence — and Teresa Palmer’s Julie, whose meet-cute involves a shoot-’em-up that ends badly for Julie’s duty-bound boyfriend (Dave Franco). As R’s voice-over narration explains, it’s been eight years since an unspecified plague devastated humankind. Corpses, as the slacker-ish zombies are called and of which he’s one, feed on what’s left of the living. A more extreme mutation called Boneys — skeletal creatures that are an effective but not quite menacing combination of stunt work and CGI — will eat anything, including corpses.

by sheri linden for hollywoodreporter.com

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