Love and Monsters (2020)

love and monsters poster 2020 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Decent special effects

Feels really derivative of Zombieland

Movie Info

Movie Name: Love and Monsters

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): October 16, 2020

MPAA Rating: PG-13

love and monsters queen dog dylan obrien

Listen, dog…you’re smarter than I am. Shut up!

A planet-killer asteroid called Agatha-616 is destroyed by the people, but the fallout from the weapons creates a new problem.  Mutagens in the fallout have turned much of the Earth’s creatures into massive monsters and in turn the monsters have wiped out 95% of the population.  Survivors hide in small underground locations and despite years passing, no progress has been made.  Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brian) suffers from a dangerous freezing problem when confronted by monsters.  When he decides he has to see his pre-asteroid girlfriend Aimee (Dylan O’Brien), he sets off on an eighty-five mile trek across the dangerous wasteland.  Joel is joined by a dog and another pair of survivors named Clyde Dutton (Michael Rooker) and Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt)…but the monsters are hungry and Aimee is far away.

Directed by Michael Matthews, Love and Monsters is a action-fantasy adventure monster movie.  The film premiered during COVID-19 and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

love and monsters jellyfish

Drift away and try to forget that this is so similar to Zombieland

I have to admit that Love and Monsters never even registered on my radar.  When the Academy Awards were shortlisted, I saw the title and thought I’d probably see it eventually.  While Love and Monsters is a fun romp, it also feels very, very derivative.

The big problem is that the story feels a lot like rehash of Zombieland and replace Zombieland with Monsterland.  There are rules, Joel Dawson is goofy and cracks jokes…while Clyde and Minnow are serious hunters…it even feels a lot like the same dynamics of Zombieland.  This story is combined with Brian K. Vaughan’s Y:  The Last Man which saw the sole surviving man crossing great distances to hunt down the woman he loved before all men died…which feels a lot like how the Joel-Aimee story plays out.

This could be forgiven if the actors (who are better than this movie) were given roles that were wildly different from the Zombieland characters they parallel.  Dylan O’Brien is very plain and not a very dynamic lead.  Rucker finally gets to play a good guy, but he feels like he’s aping Woody Harrelson’s role.  Ariana Greenblatt is a little more vulnerable than the characters of Zombieland (which is good), but she still is jaded and spins one-liners.

love and monsters crab

Who wants shellfish for dinner!

The visuals for the film are good, and that is kind of expected in that they are only limited by creativity.  The monsters are based on real animals and insects, but the designs can be anything that the artists wanted since they are computer generated.  It is the saving grace of a movie that is so-so.

I feel bad sitting and comparing Love and Monsters to Zombieland, but the comparison is so obvious (especially since Zombieland:  Double Tap was just released).  I generally try to consider every movie “a unique snowflake”, but sometimes the snowglobe of Hollywood makes you lump these snowflakes together.  There isn’t anything wrong with Love and Monsters, but there isn’t any special either.

Related Links:

The 93rd Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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