Blu-ray Review: Love and Monsters

By , Contributor
i>Love and Monsters is a pleasant, watchable, occasionally charming post-apocalyptic survival adventure that adds absolutely nothing to the sub-genre. Aimed at a tween crowd, the story of Joel (Dylan O'Brien of the Maze Runner series) navigating a world overrun by chemically-altered super-creatures is based on well-worn tropes. But for viewers between the ages of, say 10 and 13, it'll likely provide a couple hours of solid, undemanding entertainment.

We learn at the outset that an asteroid on an existence-ending collision course with Earth was literally blasted out of the sky in order to save humanity. Chemical interaction resulted in the mutation of reptiles, sea creatures, and insects. They've become dangerous, rampaging giants, forcing humans into underground bunkers. Joel has grown tired of being the only single wallflower in his "colony," so he sets out to brave the great outdoors in search of his longtime love (they've been in touch via longwave radio communication). She lives in another colony, so reaching her will present grave challenges.

And that's about it. Along the way, Love and Monsters brings to mind other (better) movies like Zombieland—Michael Rooker plays a very Woody Harrelson-esque travelling companion for Joel—Warm Bodies and countless others. But it manages to do so in a wholesome, non-graphic, non-adult manner which makes it a good introduction to post-apocalyptic wasteland flicks for those young enough to not be jaded.

O'Brien is fine as Joel, though he was much more compelling in the Maze Runner movies. Joel adopts an endearing stray dog, named Boy, who steals the movie right out from under the human cast. The F/X are passable. Literally every element of Love and Monsters is competent, without ever being cause for actual excitement. Worth noting: critics have largely been impressed (92% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes) and a sequel is currently being discussed. It makes sense that we'd see more of Joel and company, as the movie plays like an over-long TV pilot.

Now available on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K UltraHD, and Digital Download, the Love and Monsters Blu-ray includes a number of deleted scenes and is rounded out by two short EPK-style featurettes.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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