Monday 29 November 2010

Monsters review

Monsters (12A, 93 mins)
Director: Gareth Edwards
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Probes that were sent into space some years ago have crash landed back on earth with something on board, and now most of Mexico is a quarantined infected zone. With enormous tentacled beasties on the loose, an American photographer is tasked with escorting the daughter of his wealthy boss across the zone back to the States. Like District 9 before it, Monsters is sci-fi that wears its allegory on the front of its jumper, but unlike District 9, it’s a shallow, rambling effort with little beyond its initial premise. It should be commended for what’s been achieved on a tiny budget, with a wonderful sense of mood and place, but there just isn’t enough incident. And that doesn’t necessarily mean we need more monster attacks, it simply means we’re entitled to more interesting drama than the rather tepid road movie cum romance foisted on us. There’s a train of thought that because it's low budget and a bit quirky, it’s automatically better than a Hollywood equivalent costing 100 times as much. But you still need the storytelling, and for long stretches of Monsters, particularly in the middle, absolutely nothing happens, with no real payoff for all the teasing we have to endure.

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