Sometimes when I reflect on the impending zombie apocalypse, I have to stop myself from getting too excited. If everyone were honest with each other, I think we’d all agree that it’s going to be pretty sweet. In the end though, I probably won’t survive. And no, it wouldn’t be because of my physical abilities or survival skills. It would be because of my wife. I could just see us on the run and her wanting to stop to get fro yo or something. Plus, she wouldn’t be able to pass up all of those abandoned Prada stores. “But Wade, they’re having a 100% off sale!”
I also wonder what would happen if my wife became a zombie without me. What would I do? Should I let her kiss me? There are so many unanswered questions I have.
You can imagine then, my excitement when I heard that Warm Bodies was coming to the big screen. Having already read the novel by Isaac Marion, I knew that the core of the story centered on a human and zombie falling in love. Finally, a zom-rom-com the whole family can enjoy.
Warm Bodies features a zombie named R (representing the Shakespearean character Romeo) who falls in love with a girl named Julie (Juliet). Initially, their relationship seems doomed from the start. But what begins as fear, eventually turns into mutual respect. I won’t give away too much of the plot, but it becomes apparent that their association might be the key to the whole zombie epidemic. I guess there is hope for my wife and I’s future relationship.
Now most people would smirk at the idea of a zombie love story, but the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. The dialogue and characters are witty and there is even a plethora of 80’s love songs to top it off. R also proves to be a formidable male lead, despite his undead state. Even as a zombie, he still has more facial expressions than Edward Cullen. As the relationship between R and Julie builds, so do tensions betweens the two classes until a battle of ideals becomes inevitable.
Warm Bodies is a lot of fun, though it could have benefitted from some more development between the two characters. A zombie movie that needed just a pinch of more heart.
For its few negatives, the film has many more positives. One of which is the theme of purpose and meaning that the movie tackles throughout. A shot at the beginning of the film contrasts the aimless ramblings of the infected zombies with a pre-apocalypse image of people shuffling through an airport, all with their faces glued to cellular devices. Not much changed in the world.
My favorite aspect of the whole zombie genre is how applicable it is to our time. In someway, the undead apocalypse has already begun. As a people, we often ramble through life, going from place to place with no clear purpose or direction. We live to consume. Accumulate. Buy things. Pay bills. Get promotions. Our lives become superficial, void of meaning. We spend our days accumulating knowledge, wealth, and possessions. In the end though, we find that life is just like the author of Ecclesiastes described it:
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.” (Ecc. 1:2)
Deep down Warm Bodies tells a beautiful story. The key to curing the virus that lies inside all of us comes through a relationship. True love causes us to hit pause on our life and evaluate who we really are. What are we living for? What brings true purpose to life?
Ultimately, for the Christian, purpose and meaning come from our relationship with God. I personally believe that the chief evil of our time is misplaced priorities. We are dropped into a world where titles, possessions, and statuses create meaning, purpose, and self-worth. Or should I say a facade of meaning, purpose, and self-worth. We’ve become zombies and it didn’t even take a bunch of infected monkeys to do it. How many times have you met someone who followed their name up with “I’m a _______ (insert job title here). There is nothing wrong with being proud of your work or even loving it, but do we base our identity on our profession? What happens then, when those things don’t work out? What happens when we lose our job, experience disappointment, get demoted?
Do something for me today. Stop and think for a moment on what you want your life to accomplish. Where do you find meaning and purpose? If you were bitten by an infected zombie today, would you say that everything you lived for was really just “meaningless”? It’s important they we develop the things in life that will last, our relationship with God and our relationship with others. Just like in Warm Bodies, relationships will be the key to our success as individuals. Because, when you think about it, we’ve got five to ten years max before the zombies come for us.
It won’t win any awards, but Warm Bodies is a great date night movie for you and your undead (hopefully) romantic interest. It is rated PG-13 for zombie violence and some language.