The Reel Review

B

Seven years after a mass extinction event, where giant monsters – primarily, towering centipedes, ants, snails and slugs – have wiped out 95% of the Earth’s population, a desperately lonely teenage boy decides to leave the safety of his underground bunker and makeshift family on a dangerous, 85 mile trek to reach his high school sweetheart, in this quirky adventure/comedy on Netflix.

Dylan O’Brien and Boy in Love and Monsters.

Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf, the Maze Runner trilogy) exudes loads of self-deprecating charm as his likable character stumbles through this weirdly charming, post apocalyptic, coming of age tale from director Michael Matthews (Five Fingers For Marseilles). Amidst the loads of slime, quick action and slapstick humor are some nice quiet moments of gravitas, including a touching scene with a robot named Mav1s (with a 1 instead of an i). This Zombieland inspired, Iliad-styled journey also has some impressively creative visual effects and a rousing score.

Dylan O’Brien having a moment with Mav1s the robot in Love and Monsters.

The most glaring weak spot is a contrived and unnecessarily hokey third act, which betrays the way more interesting, adventurous spirit of the first hour. Even so, Love and Monsters is still a breezily fun, good time with an endearing message about the importance of the family you create for yourself in life.

REEL FACTS

Dylan O’Brien in 2018’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure

• Dylan O’Brien was seriously injured in March 2016 when hit by a car while filming a stunt on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure that delayed the film for nearly a year and required considerable reconstructive surgeries.

Love and Monsters was filmed in Brisbane, Australia.

• Boy was played by two Australian kelpies named Hero and Dodge.

 

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