Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla is currently stomping and chomping its way through multiplexes around the world, and it was his feature debut four years ago that played a big part in getting him the gig. Monsters is an unassuming little film that cost less than 1/160th the budget of Edwards’ follow-up while dealing with some similar dynamics — namely very big monsters and very small people. They’re different beasts though as Monsters is a more intimate tale featuring just two people for most of its running time and only revealing its titular creatures with any degree of clarity in the third act.
The film didn’t make much of a splash at the box office, but beyond catching the attention of the right people it also showed Edwards to be a highly capable and multi-talented filmmaker — in addition to writing and directing he also handled visual effects, production design and cinematography. A sequel seemed like a no-brainer, but Godzilla meant it would have to go forward without its creator.
Monsters: Dark Continent retains Edwards as an executive producer, but Tom Green (“Misfits”) is directing from a script by Jay Basu (Dante’s Inferno). The action leaves the first film’s US/Mexico border behind for more monstrous shenanigans in the Middle East, the cast has increased from two to what looks like dozens and the long silences have been replaced by some rough rap lyrics.
Check out the trailer for Monsters: Dark Continent below.
The film seems less interested than its predecessor in keeping the monsters under wraps and looks to promise more direct action and interaction between man and beasts. Some people complained that the lack of monsters in Monsters was an issue, in which case they should probably enjoy this one more. On the other hand though the slow tease and cloudy reveal in the first film (at the gas station) was pretty damn effective.
The currently available plot description says only that “a soldier enters the infected zone of the city to find his comrade,” but two years ago a far more detailed one was revealed via ShockTilYouDrop.
Seven years on from the events of Monsters, and 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.
Noah, a haunted soldier with several tours under his belt, is sent on a mission: an American soldier has gone rogue deep in the Infected Zone, and Noah must reach him and take him out. But when Noah’s unit and transport are destroyed, he finds himself with only a young and inexperienced cadet for company – the brother of the man Noah has been sent to kill.
The two soldiers must go on a life-altering journey through the dark heart of monster territory, accompanied by a young local woman to guide them. By the time the three of them reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.“
It’s possible some of this has changed since 2012, but the writing/directing talent attached then remains the talent attached now so odds are this is still the film’s plot. It reads almost like a monster-infused Apocalypse Now in some ways. That fits in with the expected underlying commentary too. Whereas the first film had a not-so-subtle commentary on xenophobia and immigration, this one looks to be examining the pain and suffering experienced by those stuck in never-ending cycles of war, violence and destruction.
Monsters: Dark Continent opens in the UK on September 26, 2014.