Love and Monsters

Dylan O’ Brien faces the apocalypse and giant mutated bugs and lizards in the new coming-of-age/monster story Love and Monsters.

The film is an action/adventure/comedy featuring a good cast and a surprising amount of emotional stakes.

Joel (Dylan O’Brien) has lived for seven years in the apocalypse. Giant monsters had mutated from bugs and frogs, sending the surviving humans into underground bunkers. Joel, however, does not seem the surviving type. Thankfully, his colony mates are here to keep him safe.

Unfortunately, Joel feels lonely, being the only single individual in his colony, and he was missing his girlfriend from years before the apocalypse, Aimee (Jessica Henwick). Joel uses a radio to contact other colonies and found where Aimee was.

After a breach of his colonies defenses by a monster, Joel decided that he needed to go find Aimee, traveling for seven days to her colony. Understandably, his friends believed he was dooming himself to being eaten by a monster.

Along the way, Joel runs into survivalists Clyde (Michael Rooker) and a little girl Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt), who take him in and help show Joel ways to avoid being killed on the surface.

This film is charming, fun and filled with some wonderful character development. Joel, in particular, follows a remarkable arc for his character and Dylan O’ Brien does a remarkable job of connecting as our protagonist.

The real relationship of the film is between Joel and a dog he meets along the way named Boy. There were more moments between Joel and Boy than there were with most other characters. They fought side by side and they saved each other. Boy was given several character traits as well that made him more than just a pet.

The monsters looked good. While there were some spots where the CGI was obvious, it was not bad enough to pull me out of the film. The design of the monsters were scary, but realistic.

The opening scene of the film is an animated section as Joel narrates what has happened over the years. It was one of the most interesting ways to drop exposition and provide us with the information that we needed to know. It was creative and entertaining.

Love and Monsters was an exciting concept that did not overdo its monsters and gave us a charismatic lead character and his dog. There was a lot of fun here and it gave us all some inspiration that people can get through the world, no matter what they may have to face.

4.5 stars

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