Love and Monsters (2020)

“There’s no mission more admirable than love.”

Dir. Michael Matthews

Runtime: 110 minutes

Rating: 12

Starring: Dylan O’Briend, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker

In a post-apocalyptic future, a young man risks his life by hiking across the country to find he pre-monsterpocalypse girlfriend.

Love and Monsters is a fun and simple film. It is an action, adventure, comedy, survival, fantasy starring Dylan O’Brien, and features Michael Rooker, Jessica Henwick, and Ariana Greenblatt. It’s kind of a love story adventure too, but that’s only really a background theme while survival takes centre stage. It reminded me in a way of one of my favourite computer games called “Fallout” (Or to be specific, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and Fallout 4).

Mankind became its own enemy – when threatened with a meteor hurtling towards Earth, nukes were launched into space. The nukes stopped the meteor wiping out the Earth, but then the nuclear chemicals caused problems when they drifted back to Earth. Cold blooded animals like spiders, ants, and frogs, became mutant monsters. Mankind was forced to hide, some people went underground, others in shelters.

7 years later. We meet Joel. After losing his parents at the start of the monsterpocalypse, Joel found himself living underground with a group of people he now calls his family and friends. They don’t let him go out on hunts because he is terrible in dangerous situations and freezes. On the other hand, he’s a great cook and good at repairing things so he is a valuable member of the colony. Joel however, is missing Aimee, his girlfriend from before the fallout. Before everything went crazy they promised to find each other again, and to date Joel has been putting it off but he’s getting to the point where he’s feeling lonely. He has been able to communicate with Aimee in another colony some 80+ miles away via radio transmitter, but the itch to see her is becoming increasingly strong.

One day Joel decides to risk it and travel across the country to find her, much to the doubts of his own colony. He is usually a bit of a nervous wreck, and he cannot shoot a gun, so his colony are worried that he will get eaten as soon as he enters the real world. It’s filled with nasty mutant monsters that in some instances are bigger than houses. Despite their fear he wanders out, and on his adventure, Joel makes a canine friend called Dog, and meets travellers called Clyde and Minnow, who will help him overcome some of his issues.

When the journey separates Joel from Clyde and Minnow, he and Dog have to face the world alone as they adventure to Aimee and all the complications that this might bring.

The plot is simple enough, although seasoned film viewers may be able to guess the ending. Nevertheless, that does not detract from a charming film which has some good acting turns portraying some nice characters. Even the bad guys in the film are not too nasty as they come across almost as cartoon villains. The effects are done well importantly the monsters look good. For al purposes, forgetting the tragic loss of human life in the film, it looks like a colourful and exciting world that I’d love to explore myself.

Love and Monsters reminded me of the kind of fantasy adventure films that were good in the 1980’s. It isn’t too complex, it looks good, it’s simple, but importantly it’s fun and accessible to a wide audience demographic. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a sequel appeared at some point soon, but as a starting point, this film is great and I’m happy to award this a 7 out of 10.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (7/10)

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