Monday, July 20, 2015

Monsters: Dark Continent

2014  *1/2

This is the new review!  The more I thought about this movie while at work today, the more it pissed me off.  So I'm lowering its rating a half star and I'm going to bitch about it more!  You are there!

First of all, when I quickly wrote the first review in the morning before leaving for work, I used this pic as my illustration:

I really should not have done that, as it implies that this movie is about monsters in some way.  Oh, there is a scene in which a helicopter flies over a herd of monsters, and one of them does lunge its tentacled mouth-head at it, but that happens on the soldiers' first day and that is pretty much the end of the giant monster herds for you the viewer.  You see that other picture up there?  That's your movie.  Stressed-out desert soldiers.

The thing that's been slowly burning in me all day is this:  while obnoxiously avoiding the plot implied by its title and advertising, this scratchy armpit of a movie can't get enough of playing "real" and "topical."  So much so that I was actually myself a little stymied to call its bullshit, because I want to respect real soldiers who are dealing with intense realities in real deserts right this very minute.  And I do, of course, respect all those people.  And while I'm respecting people, the actors and crew all do a decent job with what they've been tasked with.

Unfortunately, that job is to spool out as many shopworn war movie tropes the writers could think to cram in there.  Even the basic plot is a cheap move:  the cells or spores or whatever from the monsters in northern Mexico are now in the Middle East.  Because of course!  What's an area more politically charged and topical than Mexico?  Bam, monsters!  Which country?  Don't know!  It's the Middle East, who cares?

What's terrible is that the first Monsters had such a subtly wrought subtext about American influence in foreign countries, and the sequel just dumps commentary on top of that like a barrel of stinky fish.

I could expound further, but it's not worth my time.  This movie is a catalog of crap.  It doesn't deserve to follow its predecessor, and it doesn't deserve to be called horror or sci-fi.  I've seen horror movies that are actually porn, and I've seen monster movies that don't have enough monster.  Roll that into one movie and it would still blow this movie away.  Waiting for these monsters to come was an excruciating exercise for which I was rewarded nothing, getting instead some overbaked "statement" I never asked for.  It left me feeling betrayed.

At least the other fake-out flick is porn!  Sheesh!


JPX said...

I'm sorry to hear that this didn't deliver! I know you were fond of the first one (I still need to check it out). I hate it when people make crappy cash-grab sequels (e.g. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge).

Catfreeek said...

I hated this too and it seemed like all they did was yell at each other throughout the entire film. Completely concur with your annoyance. Grrrrr.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Nice review/rant Octo. If you're going to call your movie Monsters then you'd better damn well feature monsters, even stop motion monsters would be acceptable FFS.