Sommerleigh Pollonais – Senior Writer
There are times when a movie comes along that’s not what you asked for, but just what you needed.
Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf, The Maze Runner Trilogy) stars as Joel, a young man who loses everyone he loves during a massive monster attack on Earth. Stuck underground with a group of survivors he makes the decision to leave and walk the seven-day trek, to meet with his long lost girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick of Game of Thrones and Iron Fist), who is also hunkered down with another group. Joel is sweet, funny and a great chef. What he isn’t, is a hero, as he freezes every time one of the monsters (irradiated insects and reptiles) attacks.
The Maze Runner films were one of the few YA adaptations that I found enjoyable (outside of Harry Potter and Hunger Games of course) and one of the strengths of that series was O’Brien as the lead. While he’s grown quite a bit since then, his boyish looks and boy-next-door charm is still intact here and makes him a very likeable lead.
Narration is not something that always fits in a movie, as most times it feels unnecessary (The Devil All The Time for example, really didn’t need it) but here it fits well, as Joel is on his own for long periods of time, so it feels natural he would “talk” to the audience. That isn’t to say there aren’t other actors popping up on this post-apocalyptic journey. Henwick as Aimee doesn’t have a lot of screen time but her chemistry with O’Brien most definitely works.
Michael Rooker (c’mon who doesn’t know this man?!) as Clyde with his young protégé in tow, and Minnow played by Ariana Greenblatt (The One and Only Ivan) were pitch perfect in their roles as well. Their dynamic, especially while they travelled with Joel, felt a bit like Tallahassee and Columbus in Zombieland (there are rules for survival here as well) but with their own fun spin on things (“you can have a good night’s sleep, or something to eat, never both”). And then of course there was the cutest, most awesome dog I’ve seen on screen in sometime, simply called Boy. I honestly wished this doggie was mine!
The movie does a great job of balancing the emotional moments with the intense action ones, and I surprisingly found myself tearing up during a scene where Joel meets MAV1S. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but it was beautiful and sweet and honestly guys, this movie is just a ton of fun. From the great creature designs, to the acting, score, and, of course, the story, Love and Monsters was just the fun, adventure-filled movie I needed to lift my spirits and lighten my mood. Hopefully, it does the same for you.
Sommer’s Score: 7 out of 10
For more young people fighting monsters you can check out Julien’s review of Vampires Vs. The Bronx here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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