By Dave B.
In Monsters (2010, currently on Hulu), six years after a NASA probe carry alien life crash lands in northern Mexico, the area is under quarantine in order to contain giant alien lifeforms that resemble giant, luminescent, walking squids. A rich, young heiress is escorted by a freelance photographer through the quarantine zone in an effort to get her home as soon as possible.
My apologies is the synopsis is sparse and unappealing, but considering that Monsters is sparse and unappealing, it feels appropriate. How this movie got a 73% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond my ability to comprehend. Yes, it uses the genre of science fiction to parallel the travels and dangers of real-world migrants looking to get to the United States. Unfortunately, it’s epically boring and the two protagonists are foolish beyond belief. As just one among many, MANY examples, the fundamental plot driver (getting the heiress home as soon as possible so that she will be safe) leads them to take the most dangerous route imaginable instead of doing the reasonable thing and just waiting. Or asking the rich heiress’s father buy a plane ticket for her. Or asking him to send actual trained bodyguards to protect her. Or a plethora of other rational things. And unfortunately, the moderately decent special effects don’t make up for the fact that the film fails to elicit the wonder and interest of a science fiction movie, the tension of a horror movie, or the passion of a romantic one.
Monsters uses a decently clever setup to illustrate a quasi-political theme, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The two best things that I can say about this film are that the twist at the end isn’t completely terrible and its 97 minute runtime was just short enough that my boredom didn’t have quite enough time to elevate to outright anger. Viewers who enjoy watching slow slogs through the jungle where nothing much happens (except for the growth of a bond between two extremely annoying characters) may love this movie. I, for one, didn’t. I don’t recommend this movie and I offer this advice to anyone who may be interested in watching it: gently banging your head against a wall for a couple of hours would be a more enjoyable and entertaining use of your time.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.