Watching a post-apocalyptic film nowadays certainly feels different especially since the Covid-19 pandemic has circumnavigated the planet. I never would’ve thought that a movie like Love and Monsters would make me question what the future would be for myself if such a catastrophic event occurred after watching the film, and I did jot down some notes for safekeeping. Love and Monsters may sound like a typical post-apocalyptic film that we’ve come to expect over the years with other movies sharing the same traits, but there are some surprises along the way and when the film concluded, I walked away smiling.
It all begins when an asteroid is heading towards Earth, and for some reason, everyone sends an endless amount of missiles to blow the thing to smithereens. It works and the asteroid is destroyed but all the fallout from the missiles rains back down onto Earth causing a massive mutation among the lifeforms that aren’t human. Insects, sea life and even those small household pests are now the size of a freaking transformer! They cause massive havoc all over the world and somehow the Earth’s population is reduced by ninety-five percent! All is this is mentioned in a voice-over narration by the main character named Joel (Dylan O’Brien).
Seven years have passed and most of the human population is living in underground bunkers to essentially hide from these very large creatures. It’s survival of the fittest and the humans have lost their place on the food chain. Joel has adjusted to life quite well since the planet was wrecked by the oversized creatures that make humans looks like the insects we used to just step on. He’s made some friends in the colony and is still hoping to reconnect with his girlfriend from long ago named Amiee (Jessica Henwick). He hasn’t seen her since the apocalypse happened, seven years ago, and still he feels the love he once had for her.
She’s still alive and living in a colony just eighty-five miles away. He’s able to talk to her via the radio and believes that one day he will see her again. It’s a lost love that he’s never forgotten about, so one day he makes a plan to leave the colony for the first time and venture on foot to find the woman he still loves. It’s a risky thing since he’s never stepped foot outside in the past seven years but his mind is made up.
Joel is the type of person who has a brave heart but is a timid young man. He leaves the colony even though his friends urge him not to. He goes it alone and during his travels, he befriends a dog named “Boy” and encounters some freaky monsters. Some are friendly while others are looking for something to eat. He also learns some lessons from a kind older survivor named Clyde (Michael Rooker) and his step-daughter Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt). Oh, I forget to mention that he also meets a real working robot who actually communicates with him! How cool is that?
Joel has a lot to learn and his adventure is filled with some exciting moments and scary ones but all in all it’s quite an enjoyable ride. The screenplay by Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson is an original one, which is nice, but does show inspiration from other such classics as Tremors, Zombieland and one of the iconic songs by Ben E. King that is also the title of an infamous Rob Reiner film. You know the one I’m talking about. This is a good movie that is showcases are deepest desires; to seek an adventure, to never forget about the ones we love and the ability to learn from our mistakes that ultimately make us human.
Score 4 out of 5
Love and Monsters is a welcome addition to the post-apocalyptic genre and the director Michael Matthews does a great job holding the film together. While I thought the Maze Runner series was decent and American Assassin was lame, this is a movie where I enjoyed seeing Dylan O’Brien on the screen. He brings a lot of charm and the energy to the film, plus did I forget to mention that he had me laughing quite a bit too. This is a movie that hits all the check marks: a good story, a sweet romance and some cool monsters that sort of reminded me of the ones in Kong: Skull Island. It’s also a well told coming-of-age story too. We are still chest high in this pandemic and if you’re looking for a film to brighten your day and inspire some imagination that’s hidden deep inside, then check out Love and Monsters. It’s a lot of fun and the perfect movie that I think you’ll find entertaining.