Writer’s Note: If you liked the Maze Runner series, or Zombieland, then I think you’ll enjoy this new installment, and laugh a little if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’ve seen it, tell me what you thought of it.
So what’s the word on this Love and Monsters movie? In short, it’s the typical hero’s journey. The type of story we all know and enjoy seeing, at least I do. It’s something about a character’s transformation I find appealing, inspiring (cough After Earth) and worth telling.
You have several familiar characters, one of them being Joel who’s the lead and narrator. From his perspective, we find humanity faced with world extinction, but not by an asteroid called Agatha 616. No, they destroyed that like a piece of cake, a piece of crumb cake! What destroyed humanity was how the powers that be did it. I won’t spoil that one however.
Long story short, humans fueled the evolution of all kinds of harmless creatures into man-eaters and progressive city-killers. As a result, humans depopulated themselves with the remaining survivors forced to live in bunkers; anywhere to avoid earth’s unfortunate return to prehistoric times. Man is no longer the head of the food chain in this tale. Safe to say, a new world order was installed. If I were a hardcore environmentalist, then I might applaud and sadistically see that as a good thing.
But What The Hell Is A Joel?
He’s this young guy who lost both his parents, and a chance to pound his girl’s box before SHTF. Talk about luck. He then teamed up with a band of survivors he’s lived with ever since. They’re his family now.
But there’s something else about Joel, constantly eating him up inside. He feels useless to his family of 7 long years, and yearns for a time he fails to realize no longer exist except in his foolish mind. I think a few of us have been in that boat before and probably still remain. Somehow, he muster up some balls and decides to take those feelings and others on a suicidal journey to reach his long lost girlfriend, Aimee.
You can say this story is for the hopeless romantics out there, myself not being one of them of course. But seriously, it never occurred to him that his long lost girlfriend probably moved on. After all, 7 years is a long, long time to physically be away from somebody. However, we need a reason for him to leave his crumbling bunker behind and into the waters of the unknown, for love.
Journey to Colony 3022
Now on this quest, he randomly meets up with two other survivors. To his benefit, they school him to the game of life like Florence Scovel Shinn. But hold up, I’m getting ahead of myself here. Before he meets this dynamic duo, Joel finds himself in the company of a highly intelligent dog. His luck returns. Right off the bat, you get I Am Legend vibes. An end of the world event, hardly any survivors, and a boy with a dog against a human experiment gone wrong. Unlike the I Am Legend movie, Love and Monsters attempts to make you feel good with humor and connection.
So now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s get into the remainder of this #NotAReview. After parting ways with the two survivors who taught him everything he needed, he and his high IQ dog continue the journey toward love. Along the way, you start to notice a change within Joel. He’s no longer that terrified guy in the beginning. He’s got a couple bodies under his belt with a power level much higher than before, somewhere over 9000 thanks to these two.
It’s a testament to what can happen when a person jumps off the porch and into the abyss, like a self-prescribed rite of passage. Similar to Joel, we’d be better for it, more self-reliant, resourceful and less of a burden on those we call a family. This is one of the reasons I found this story worth its salt.
When Joel finally reaches his long lost girlfriend’s bunker, he learns something valuable than all the other things he’s already learned. Something that was foreshadowed to us before. I’m not going to spoil that one though. The rest is something you’ll have to see or read elsewhere for yourselves.
What I Thought of Love and Monsters Overall
It’s a story with replay value. For me, it touches some of my interests, namely open worlds and dystopias. By open world I mean exact that. Stories about a person and the natural world around him or her, facing all the elements within it. Man vs. Wild type beat.
I also think it tells us how man eventually destroys himself by his own decisions. How the movie sets it up was kind of inevitable though, like picking between a giant douche and a turd sandwich for president. Either way, they were fucked. On the bright side, I thought it ended with a good message that also was kind of funny considering the rhetoric we’ve been told about staying home and indoors. #StayAtHome