The latest installment in the surprisingly popular “rom-zom-com” genre sees Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Skins) star as R, a zombie-like creature who seems to be going through something of an existential crisis. We join R as he narrates his thoughts while wandering through a dilapidated airport, where he lives aboard an abandoned plane. Though this is the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse the details are intentionally never explained and R himself doesn’t remember much about his human life, not even his name.
R’s inner monologue helpfully sets the scene for us without dragging it out and, with the exception of the first scene of the human colony, removes the need for characters to retell the details of an apocalypse that happened eight years ago. We quickly learn that R simply wants to connect with others, but being a zombie means that he is limited to simply grunting to his “best friend” M (Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine) with whom he has “almost conversations”. The two decide to go to the city in search of food. Obviously, being zombies, they mean humans.
It is around this time that we are introduced to Julie (Teresa Palmer, I Am Number Four) whose father is the leader of the human settlement nearest R’s airport. Julie, along with a few other young humans, is sent out on a scouting mission to find medical supplies for the village, only to encounter some zombies, including R. R kills Julie’s boyfriend (Dave Franco, 21 Jump Street) and devours his brain, imbuing R with all of the boyfriend’s memories, including a fondness for Julie. Having immediately fallen for Julie, R takes her back to his airplane home and essentially holds her hostage in the hope that she will fall in love with him.
As a duo, they are forced to run from the “bonies”, zombies who are so far gone that they are simply bones. Their escape angers the bonies, but inspires the other zombies to hope again and they begin to slowly rediscover their humanity. One of the strongest points of the film is that it explores almost every zombie joke imaginable without any of them feeling forced or tacky. While it has some inconsistencies, only a truly uptight person would let them ruin a film of this nature.
In a nutshell: A charming film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, as it is both a satire and a celebration of zombie genre.