Posted Oct 28 2015

Monster: Dark Continent - This Movie Does Not Rock

Dir: Tom Green

Starring Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie

Gareth Edwards lends his name as exec producer to this sequel to his original (and highly original) Monsters. But this is really only a nominal follow up – new country, new continent, all manner of new aliens, and a new agenda.

Michael (Keeley) and his pals are tough guys from the economically desolate streets of Detroit, signing up to the army for the biggest fight of their lives. Dispatched to the Middle East – where the bug threat has now expanded – they discover they are not just there to battle monsters, but to deal with the local insurgents who view the intervening Americans as just as hostile an invader as those from outer space.

Whilst the first Monsters was never really about Monsters, this follow up is so unconcerned with them as for their presence to be less matter of fact, and almost more a forgotten afterthought. In their place we get a war-is-cliché tale, effectively a Zero Dark Thirty with beasties in the background. Along the way we learn that hey, even the local population are people too; hey, we’re all really the same, don’t you know; and hey, who are the real monsters and aliens – those who crash land into our desert from the stars, of those who fly in from America and insist on policing the planet?? We get the metaphor, now God spare us the slo-mo.

Despite a direct repeat of the first movie’s copulation moment, this is very different beast indeed. And whilst Green may handle some of the action sequences with a certain aplomb, his story is brought down by its own portent. Aliens cannot live by metaphor alone. Very disappointing.

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