Love and Monsters is a movie that’s keenly aware that there are far too many apocalypse movies out there that their audience can predict how it will end. So instead of mounting a huge and nearly impossible task of reinventing the dystopian genre, it makes the best use of different ones.
Love and Monsters use the best of monster horror, action-adventure, dystopia, coming-of-age, and rom-com.
Joel Dawson nonchalantly narrates the backstory in the beginning. After all, it’s something that we all expect even in real life. Dawson is fortunate enough to escape Monsterpocalypse and ends up in a bunker where everyone is coupled up except him. He freezes up in critical moments, which also doesn’t make him any useful except for cooking minestrone and taking care of the cow.
With no action in and out of the hideout for seven years, he decides to go out and find his highschool girlfriend. It’s an 85-mile trek and Joel knows that it’s stupid and dangerous.
The CGI is a bit shoddy, but its silly-scary moments are also useful in moving the plot forward and adding details to its setting. The monsters aren’t unique but they fit the tone of the movie. Small details help in further fleshing out Joel’s world that it feels unique. In one scene, he has a heart-to-heart talk with a robot and watches Jellyfishes float in the air.
The whole thing is predictable but well-paced. It’s a journey of a guy putting himself out there, not a dudebro who becomes Rambo overnight and takes one monster after another to get laid.
Dylan O’Brien delivers a charming performance as Joel. The rest of the cast adds a mix of interesting characters, including Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt. The duo gives advice that Joel adds to his guide to the insect-infested world.
The movie doesn’t immediately give Joel an easy win. But, of course, Love and Monsters eventually follow the same beaten path of a hero journey.
Love and Monsters is not going to break new ground but it’s self-aware to know that it’s offering familiar thrills. It’s still an enjoyable crowd-pleaser with a relatable character journey and universal themes – find the courage to put yourself out there, find your people, and discover what really matters to you the most.
Love and Monsters
Love and Monsters is fun genre-mashing adventure that elevates its familar offerings with a charming lead, relatable themes, and entertaining plot.