A review and breakdown of the newest apocalyptic adventure movie, Love and Monsters
“An imaginative post-apocalyptic coming of age film…” according to the New York Times and “A happy go lucky adventure through an apocalyptic danger zone” as dubbed from the Hollywood Reporter. Love and Monsters is the newest apocalyptic movie to take the silver screen with absolute banging ratings like a 91% (tomatometer) on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7/10 stars coming from IMDb.
Love and Monsters is a creative spin on the apocalypse, where mutant insects and amphibians take over the world, which leads us to our hero Dylan O’Brien, playing Joel, who must travel 80 miles with a cast of fun side characters (played by Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt) all to see his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick).
One of the best-selling points of the movie is how original it is— the movie wasn’t based on a comic, book series, or any other type of media, which is frankly missed in today’s box offices that are usually bombarded by live action remakes and movie adaptations. This makes Love and Monsters so refreshing.
The main character, Joel, is also a sight for sore eyes to the audience as he is an apocalyptic protagonist that is the complete opposite of a ‘macho man’ as seen in other films like I am Legend and Terminator. Joel’s character fights this stigma of masculinity with unique traits such as his ‘freezing up’ when confronted by monsters and even crying out of distress, which is a great way to communicate to the audience that it is okay to have emotions and that not every protagonist needs to be a stone cold bad*ss.
On the other hand, I felt that Minnow’s infatuation with Joel was forced to be stronger than it needed to be, as it seems she clung onto a total stranger after knowing him for barely a day. This should have either been explained with more detail or shouldn’t have been blown up to such an attachment.
A petty qualm I have about another character in the movie, the best character arguably, is Boy…the dog. Boy is the most unoriginal and uninspired name for a dog there is, what is this Birdbox? Peanut would have been a more original name than Boy.
The theme of the movie was very uplifting as it promoted unity and friendship, as cheesy as it sounds. It is one of the first apocalyptic movies that has a strong feeling of people helping others instead of people being the real monsters, a theme which is often seen in apocalyptic media like The Walking Dead. This movie is exactly what the people needed, especially considering quarantine and how isolated everyone feels.
However, the movie did flop on the meaning of their message “Don’t Settle,” because yes the movie ended with survivors packing shop and heading to a chance of a brighter future but Joel still settled for Aimee, even after she admitted she has changed and wanted to keep things in the past and that she had actually moved on. The movie could have made a much deeper message that would contribute even more to the meaning of doing better for yourself.
The movie is altogether a fun film for the family that is very colourful, jovial, and promotes unity and kindness. That is a refreshing new look at the apocalyptic genre and a must see.