Monday, March 14, 2011

Monsters: Movie Review

Interesting mix between science fiction and the reality of mankind.

"Monsters" is an interesting mix between science fiction and the reality of mankind. By "the reality of mankind", I mean, the universal feelings of love and the ability of all humans to make really stupid mistakes at the worst opportune times. When you're fighting for your lives against an alien race, momentary stupidity can really cost you. And it costs the film from being a more enthralling narrative.   2010

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Screenplay by: Gareth Edwards

Starring: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able

The two characters in this film, Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and Sam (Whitney Able) are very much real people. They make the types of choices that young, smart, independent people tend to make when they are stuck in a foreign land and just want to go home to America. The foreign land of Central America becomes even more foreign when the entire country of Mexico is an infected zone of creatures spawned from aliens found by NASA.

The problem with having such two real protagonists is that they make some stupid mistakes. They may be believable, but it's also frustrating. On the plus side, the romance element is way more authentic than in any Hollywood romantic comedy. And there's more truth and meaning to the thoughts of the characters.

If I'm sounding a bit distanced from this film and characters, it's because I am. I hope they make it home, but not so concerned that I'm riveted with every twist and turn. It's hard mixing science fiction with a more straight-forward discourse on human nature and then mixing that with a love story, and the inter-playing of all the genres is where it loses its compelling nature. There are things being discussed, things being shown, but nothing that really pulls you in or tugs on your heartstrings.

A good portion of the film takes place at night. It's hard shooting scenes in the dark, especially for just an independent film with a low budget, but the scenes were shot very effectively. "Monsters" tried very hard, but it lacked connection and experience.