Thursday, September 23, 2021

Love and Monsters

It may seem weird to call a story centered around a 23 year-old man a coming of age story, but that's exactly what Love and Monsters offers. Seven years after the end of the world, with people huddling in bunkers hiding from a wide assortment of mutated monsters roaming the earth, the cowardly Joel (Dylan O'Brien) decides to do something completely against his nature and travel 85 miles across the monster-infested post-apocalyptic landscape to find his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick) who he last saw seven years ago.

Narrated by the self-deprecating Joel who is both aware of his shortcomings and determined to overcome them, we follow the young man's journey where he'll face gruesome monsters and run into an assortment of odd characters including an unlikely pair of survivors (Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt) living on the surface, a robot, and a dog.

O'Brien's Joel turns out to be an easy character to root for as his quixotic quest takes him further and further down a path that no one, including the friends he has lived with in the bunker the past seven years, believes he can survive. The monsters are a wide assortment of horror movie creatures providing impressive obstacles for Joel to overcome in order to make it to his destination. While easy to compare to Zombieland, or other films of the genre, Love and Monsters does offer a surprising amount of heart (even if the script plays out largely as expected) for a film that turns out to be far more entertaining than I expected.

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