Monsters: Dark Continent (2014)
Starring: Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie, Parker Sawyer, Kyle Soller, Nicholas Pinnock, Jessie Nagy, Sofia Boutella
Plot: Its 10 years from the last movie. The infected zones have spread across the world. Your subject is the Middle East where a new insurgency of Jihad Bad guys are taking over. The U.S. Government hires new young soldiers to help out. A group of Detroit friends are deployed to the Middle East where everything alters and changes them forever.
My Review and Thoughts:
I loved the first one. It was unique, different, and very fresh and original. The second one is a lot different, and in some regards, is your basic part 2. Bigger and more action. Now on most cases, that would be really good, but with this style of film, at least what the first one was, it didn’t need all the more, blood, bombs and gore. Part 1 felt new, and original, and simplistic, which made it ultimately unique. Part 2 is in a different reality and set up. That realness, that realism in part 1, is still in part 2, but in a different way. That does not mean it’s a bad movie, it’s just a different style sequel with a changing of the subject. The monsters really are not the main story in this feature.
The war time action and the drama of the relationships between friends and soldiers is truly dramatic and passionate and flawless in that reality. The suffering and laughter, and chemistry between all involved, is dynamic and some of the best I have ever seen in a film. It wins on that reality. The film is wonderfully directed and the acting is great.
Really loved Sam Keeley. He is a wonderful actor that I have been keeping an eye on. He knows his parts and creates a believable reality to his characters, and the character of Michael is no different. I feel this young man is going to be one of those actors, that is going to be a household name. Keeley is a brilliant performer in this. His emotional appeal and pain surface on screen in a reality based way that touches you. Another powerful performer in the movie is Johnny Harris. I have recently got wind of his talent in the unique, awesome and very original TV show, Fortitude, where he plays the character of Ronnie Morgan. Harris is an amazing actor that gives you an emotional roller coaster, both intense and mind numbing in his performances. He plays the character of Noah Frater in Monsters and does an intense job of perfection. Absolutely loved Joe Dempsie as the character of Frankie. Dempsie is another powerful actor filled with believable emotions portrayed on screen. I have to mention Parker Sawyer in the role of Shaun Williams. He also, like the others, captures believability in the ordeals transpiring on screen. The whole cast works, and that is the major positive to this film. The characters are what makes this sequel work.
This is directed and co-written by Tom Green who is a relative new comer to the movie world. This is his first feature length directorial debut. Before this, he had directed some TELEVISION, such as the TV series Misfits and the TV mini-series Blackout. For a first feature film, he aced it. I don’t much care for the storyline, because like I say it loses some of its appeal that the first one was, but it has no fault in direction or acting. The fault is in the story. It’s not unique or original. The soldier's fighting monsters has been done a thousand times, and in this case, it mixes in the tired old, Iraqi fighting Americans.
In this film, the Monsters are not the bad ones, or even a threat, its man, who are the monsters. The monsters seem docile, minding their own business, where as the humans are the ones who should be hunted down and destroyed.
I don’t know if this wanted to be a war movie, or a science fiction movie. Take out the monsters, and you have a Kathryn Bigelow film. A standalone war movie would have worked, but mixing in the monsters, I don’t think it accomplished what it needed to do, to make a good sequel on the idea of the first one.
Intense war action. Awesome emotional acting. Solid direction. A wonderful example of a war film; if that is all it was. Awesome effects in the monster department. Loved the weird octopus type, Lovecraft creatures. Edit out the monsters, and it’s a Great War film with a social commentary on humanity.
I really liked the further monster story with the spores, and the reality of the monsters having an emotional side. I also love the different types of monsters displayed throughout.
In the end I still was entertained and that’s all I really ask for in these type of films. Some will like, and some will not. It’s a mixed bag of a film that I feel never really knew what it wanted to be about, but still came together to work for what it was, a solid war film.
I think it's a very entertaining watch, or at least I think so, and I found myself loving it, in the end.