Movie Poster Links to IMDB
Me in front of the movie poster
Warm BodiesMovie Summary (From IMDB): After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.
Review (From Book to Movie):
I recently read the book after seeing the movie trailers a few times and realizing the story might actually appeal to me. Surprisingly, I loved the book! Here's my Book Review - Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion.
Warning: If you haven't read the book and are not familiar with the plot, you may find that my review contains spoilers. If you are familiar with the story, but haven't seen the movie yet, you may still find that my review contains spoilers.
The Bad: The movie, as with most cinematic adaptations of books, was disappointing. I liked the movie and I'm glad I saw it and I think it will be a real hit. It's just that most of my favorite aspects and parts of the book weren't a part of the movie at all. The book wasn't as funny, but it was a lot more intelligent and somewhat deep and philosophical and the movie was so obviously not any of those things.
I said in my book review that the story wasn't so much a love story as I expected and it was more about R and Julie coming together and their strange relationship is the spark that ignited the change in both zombies and humans. Both characters challenged their own groups, much like the main characters do in dystopian novels because things were a certain way for both R and Julie and they were the first of their groups to ask why and seek to change anything. The movie, however, was much more focused on R and Julie being together and less focused on the way both of their groups operated, so when they work together and eventually come together more romantically, the implications and symbolism of their choices didn't seem near as strong to me. It's like the main gist of the entire relationship was there, but not in the way that I appreciated in the book.
I loved R as a narrator and I really missed it in the movie. I felt like it was different without his point of view. And there were some small moments that were changed in the movie that I missed, like how R tried to communicate using his records (not just playing a song but using the bits and pieces of lyrics to form a sentence he was unable to say) or how Julie let R share a beer with her or let him sleep in the same bed. Also, I missed the detail of the zombies in the airport and how their lives were, like the strange marriage or the raising of zombie kids or the Bonies with their religious services. There was just as much detail missing from the human compound, like the naming of the streets, the training of those children, the makeshift temporary yet permanent housing, etc. These details really made an impact on me while reading and I wanted to see ALL of them in the movie and didn't see any of them.
Also, in the book, R already shows a higher level of thinking before he meets Julie. He speaks more than the other zombies and the only zombie that puts up with him is M, who can also speak a little more than the others. R exhibits signs of wanting to change and be better, but doesn't know how. Meeting Julie sort of sped up the process and more and more zombies show signs of changing, too. In the movie, he isn't as far along in his change when he meets Julie and so when the other zombies start to change, I feel like it was more confusing to the viewer. I liked how the change was done in the book.
The Good: I loved the cast and I thought everyone did a great job of representing the characters. Everyone was pretty much perfect. I loved seeing the setting and seeing how the zombies were represented.
The movie was a lot funnier than the book. While I thought R was an amusing narrator in the book, there weren't as many actually funny moments. The movie really took scenes farther by maximizing the humorous possibilities in many of them. It surprises me how many book scenes were skipped because the movie could have really taken some of them and ran with them in terms of humor, but that's okay.
While I preferred the way the zombies change was described in the book, I did like the visual effect of the heartbeat in the movie. I thought it was kind of cool and great way to show the zombies were changing in a short amount of time.
The overall theme of the book was apparent in the movie. While there were obviously things I didn't like and things I thought were missing, it was still a decent movie that captured the right message and meaning.
Bottom Line: Warm Bodies was a decent movie. It's probably absolutely wonderful for those who haven't read the book and it's relatively okay for those of who have. Nothing major was changed or messed up too badly and it was satisfying for the most part. I wished it was funnier than I expected, but I'm glad I went to see it.
Traditional zombie lovers will love the gore and brain eating. People who hate traditional zombie stories will love the love story and the way the zombies eventually change and evolve. It's a movie for both sides of the fence and both kinds of people will enjoy it.
But I'll say what most readers say that infuriates non-readers. The book was better.
However: Warm Bodies was a story I've been avoiding for a very long time because of my belief that zombies should be gross and brainless and zombie stories should involve running and shooting and not love amongst a zombie and a human. The humor from the movie trailers sparked my curiosity and made me read the book. For that I am grateful because I really enjoyed the book -a thousand times more than I thought I would. So, even if I'm somewhat disappointed by the movie, the fact that there WAS a movie introduced me to the story in the first place and I have to give it credit for that!