Review: 'Love and Monsters' is an amusing post-apocalyptic adventure

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Dylan O'Brien as Joel in Love and Monsters (Photo: Paramount)

Love and Monsters
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Michael Matthews
Writer: Brian Duffield, Matthew Robinson
Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Action
Rated: PG-13 for action/violence, language and some suggestive material

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: The apocalypse has separated Joel from his girlfriend Aimee. He’s in one underground refuge, she’s in another 80 miles away. All that stands between him and her is a variety of formerly-benign creatures who have been transformed by radiation into massive monsters. Good luck Joel.

Review: It’s been years since humanity launched its missiles at an inbound asteroid. We saved the planet, radiated everything and created giant sized monsters in the process. Joel, the only surviving member of his family, lives underground with a group of other human refugees. Years of loneliness and a desire to return to the life he had before inspire Joel to set out on the 80-mile trek to reunite with his high school girlfriend Aimee. Joel has no survival skills to speak of. Joel has no skills to speak of. Well, he can make soup.

“Love and Monsters” is silly, but it takes itself just seriously enough to keep the film from straying into the murky waters of self-parody. Its post-apocalyptic narrative is familiar, but the use of tropes and B-movie sensibilities works well. The tone is consistent, special effects are amusing and the script manages to sneak in a few moments of emotional depth. The cast is strong. Dylan O’Brian fills Joel with a sense of youthful innocence and exuberance; Michael Rooker gets to play nice (or at least not mean); and the scenes featuring Boy the dog (played by Hero and Dodge) are particularly joyous.

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“Love and Monsters” is big, occasionally goofy, often funny and heart-felt. Most importantly, it’s also a lot of fun.

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