Monsters: Dark Continent Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Sofia Boutella, Joe Demspie, Johnny Harris, Sam Keely, Nicholas Pinnock
  • Director: Tom Green
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: June 2, 2015
  • Run Time: 122 minutes

  •         What happens when you try to shoehorn a monster movie into the failed screenplay for a Hurt Locker rip-off? You get the sequel to Gareth Edwards’ indi-hit, Monsters (which was good enough to land him Godzilla). First of all, the reason movies like The Hurt Locker, Lone Survivor and American Sniper are successful seems reliant on the fact that they are based on true stories, so these original screenplays trying to mimic the success are doomed from the start. The choice to then take the film even further from reality by adding monsters as the enemy may sound like a solid solution. The only problem is that the monsters aren’t the enemies in Monsters: Dark Continent.


            While there are attacks against the giant monsters in the Middle East, the soldiers we are following only fight against the local insurgents. The reason for their fighting is indirectly related to the monsters, which are usually just passing through as the soldiers fight each other. Even with better special effects, Monsters: Dark Continent is a sadly lackluster sequel that is often bogged down by the human characters. This was my biggest problem with the original film as well; how can you title a film Monsters and have so little of them in the movie?


            Instead we are given a nearly two-hour film about three rowdy friends from Detroit who join the army to fight the monsters in the Middle East, ten years after the occurrences in the original film. Heading up the cast as one of the Detroit recruits, Michael Parkes, is Irish actor Sam Keeley. He also offers up tons of insignificant voiceover throughout the film, which mostly sounds like a war movie imitating “One Tree Hill.” After the early demise of his friends, Parkes ends up stranded in the desert with his superior officer (Johnny Harris). The two have opposing views on the monsters, though their encounters in the desert help to sway the argument. It is all fairly predictable and drawn out with far too many scenes of melodrama between soldiers.


            The monsters really do look good in most of the scenes, and this is enhanced by the high definition of the Blu-ray for the handful of scenes that actually have them. The disc’s special features include a featurette with on-set footage of the production. Also included is a trailer.


    Entertainment Value: 4/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance:  2/10

    Special Features: 3.5/10

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