So, why Netflix are releasing films on a Wednesday in the UK now is anyone’s guess, but they are and so here we are with Love And Monsters.
The movie sees Joel, Dylan O’Brien (“Teen Wolf (TV)”, “The Maze Runner”), living in a world whereby plenty of the animals and insects have mutated into giant, human eating versions of themselves.
What’s left of the population, around five percent, live in colonies and in Joel’s he’s the, well, he’s the cook and cleaner. He freezes whenever he’s faced with danger, not a good situation.
Joel talks to his former girlfriend Aimee, Jessica Henwick (“Game Of Thrones (TV)”, “On The Rocks”), on a ham radio, she is in another colony some seven days trek away. Finally, after seven years, Joel decides he’s going to make the journey to see her.
Along the way he picks up a dog, Boy, meets Clyde, Michael Rooker (“Brightburn”, “The Belko Experiment”), and Minnow, Ariana Greenblatt (“The One And Only Ivan”, “Avengers: Infinity War”), and learns lessons about how to survive which he puts down in a book.
This may sound vaguely familiar, if not that’s probably my explanation, but what we have here is a softer, family friendlier version of Zombieland. Joel learns rules, which he gives in voiceover as letters he is writing to Aimee.
We are also treated to a copy of Stand By Me when Joel wades through a river and winds up covered in leaches, this is just before a robot he’s met plays the song “Stand By Me”.
Anyway, that’s not to say any of this is bad necessarily, make your own mind up on that, they say copying is the highest form of flattery after all.
The movie is fun and funny, though Joel’s lack of ability does wear a bit thin towards the end, and you sense a sequel which I wouldn’t be upset about.
Writers Brian Duffield (“The Babysitter”, “Underwater”) and Matthew Robinson (“Monster Trucks”, “Dora And The Lost City Of Gold”) keep things PG-13 when it could quite easily head into a gore fest.
Director Michael Matthews (“Five Fingers for Marseilles”, “Sweetheart (Short)”) keeps things zipping along nicely. Between the three of them they’ve created a movie that’s nice looking, well performed and has plenty of funny and cute moments.
No, it’s not the most original thing we’ve ever seen, but it feels like a playful nod, a tip of the hat, rather than an outright copy of anything that’s familiar. But, Love And Monsters is a nice movie that also has an interesting parallel with what’s going on in the wider world at the moment. I don’t mean giant insects, but as all being stuck in our homes and, for some at least, starting to emerge.
14th April 2021
THE QUICK SELL
In a monster-infested world, Joel learns his girlfriend is just 85 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.