Seven years on from the events of Monsters, the ‘Infected Zones’ have spread worldwide. Humans have been knocked off the top of the food chain, with disparate communities struggling for survival. American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won. (synopsis via Hey U Guys)
Oh Homo Sapiens you are not as mighty as you thought yourself to be.
That seems to be the message coming from a slew of recent and upcoming movies such as Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, all of which are predicated on the basis that humanity is not the king of the world anymore, assuming it ever really was.
After all, if we can be taken out by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as is increasingly the case, then it stands to reason that super-intelligent apes or advanced alien civilisations should have no trouble mopping us with relative ease.
Of course that particular line of thinking does not take into account our tenacious, indomitable will to survive, which odds stacked against or not, does tend to mean we take on adversaries far in greater in strength, resources or technology than ourselves.
It may be foolhardy, it may be downright crazy but humanity is not a species prone to simply laying down and dying, all of which naturally makes for damn good drama.
It’s a mentality which is put to good use once again in the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ superbly restrained but utterly engrossing debut feature Monsters (2010), a movie which takes the original idea of a lone “infected zone” running rife with tentacled, freakishly adaptable alien lifeforms which take to life on earth like they were borne to it, following their arrival on a crash-landing NASA probe in the jungles of Latin America, and runs with it to far flung, disparate parts of the world.
While Gareth Edwards isn’t directly helping Monsters: Dark Continent – he has been a tad bit busy of late with a small film you may have heard of called Godzilla, all of which means he wasn’t available to write, edit, direct and do all the CGI like he did with Monsters (see the video below) – he is on deck as the executive producer meaning that the world he brought into being will still be strongly influenced by him.
The man who has the task of making sure Monsters: Dark Continent retains the things which made its predecessor suddenly a compelling piece of cinema – a robust narrative and well-developed characters which acted in perfect concert with the judiciously placed monsters and general CGI – is Tom Green, the man who brought us Misfits, Britain’s contribution to the world of superhero TV.
Indiewire remarked that he was a good choice to helm the second film in the Monsters franchise – which I am assuming it has become with this sequel now a reality – since he’s “someone more committed to story and character than simply being a visual effects whiz.”
Which is extremely heartening since, as I just noted, what sets Monsters apart from other films in the genre is its understanding that dazzling visual effects without the substance of a well-constructed plot and compelling, real characters produce nothing more than yet another forgettable blockbuster.
If Tom Green can keep true to the spirit of the original film, which also relied on the idea that what you can’t see (and therefore what your runaway imagination fills in) is far scarier than simply throwing a whole lot of scary creatures and blood and gore and mindless action on screen, then Monsters: Dark Continent will be one of the cinematic highlights of the second half of 2014.
Monsters: Dark Continent opens in UK on 26 September 2014 (no international release dates available just yet).