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Movie Review: 'Warm Bodies' -- 3.5 stars

Nicholas Hoult in a scene from "Warm Bodies."

Nicholas Hoult in a scene from "Warm Bodies." Credit: Nicholas Hoult in a scene from "Warm Bodies."

Warm Bodies
3.5 stars
Written and directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Rob Corddry
Rated PG-13

Don't let the British lead and the romantic overtones fool you: This supernatural zombie flick is nothing like its Summit Entertainment studio mate "Twilight."

Instead, this romantic comedy via zombie thriller is a clever twist on the undead formula, taking far more from the likes of "Shaun of the Dead" than "Night of the Living Dead."

Nicholas Hoult stars as R, a hoodie-wearing shambler lurking in an airport (he's got a nice home in a jet) in a post-apocalyptic world.

When R and some fellow zombies set off on a trip to find some food (brains, of course), they encounter a group of humans who have ventured out from their protected homestead. During the battle, R noshes on the brains of Perry (Dave Franco), boyfriend of Julie (Teresa Palmer). In this movie, when a zombie eats brains, that gives him the memories of the lost soul, so this dish has given him some serious fondness for Julie, enough so that he brings her back to his jet to keep her safe.

The more R eats Perry's brain, the more his affection for Julie grows, and the more his humanity returns. But will he and Julie be able to convince the humans that the zombies can change before they decide to put a bullet in his head?
Hoult, who provides a running voice-over during the film, brings warmth to a cold character - as well as great comedic timing.

Written and directed by Jonathan Levine ("50/50) and based on a novel by Isaac Marion, "Warm Bodies" has a cool, gray feel to it that softens as R regains his humanity. The film is a unique supernatural romance that proves the genre can be successful when in the right hands.

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