Monsters: Dark Continent (2015)
Critic Consensus: Monsters: Dark Continent lacks the fresh approach and thought-provoking subtext of its predecessor, settling instead for tired war movie clichés.
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as Noah Frater
as Ryan Conway
as Shaun Williams
as Militant Leader
as Bookie's Bodyguard
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Critic Reviews for Monsters: Dark Continent
A desert-set men-on-a-mission movie complete with jabbering jihadis, macho hysteria and the occasional extraterrestrial waving its tentacles in the background as if to say: 'Isn't this supposed to be about me?'
Although Edwards is onboard for the new "Monsters: Dark Continent" as an executive producer, the sequel bears no resemblance to his original, thematically or stylistically.
Plays like a dorm-room answer to modern war films, complete with the constant profanity and masculine hysterics that pass for impact in an immature script.
It's taxing to watch, and Green moves between scenes with Malick-inspired ellipses, frustrating momentum.
Whatever the filmmakers' subtextual intentions may be, the film certainly gets stronger and more compelling as it goes on, thanks in part to intense emoting on the part of its cast.
Audience Reviews for Monsters: Dark Continent
All it takes for a sequel to be made is for the previous film to make a profit and it doesn't get a critically panned, Ok the first was good in a different way, Abit misleading but at least it made sense, This one was just a cheap U.S Army flick with monsters thrown in, You sometimes forget that it's supposed to be a sequel and lose interest quick, It had some ok shoot outs and the monsters (When we see them) Effects were pretty good but the last 30 minutes was just boring and got weird, Stick to the first as this is a waste of time.
The original small budget British sci-fi was pretty much made entirely by Gareth Edwards, unfortunately he went on to much bigger things with 'Godzilla' (and now a Star Wars spin-off), so he couldn't direct this sequel. This was probably the main cause of this movies downfall, the next would be everything else the new director and writer decided to do, or not do. I mean look at the films poster, looks fantastic right, troops on the ground in the desert, explosions behind them, monsters towering in the air, and above all that lots of chopper appear to be facing off against the monsters. It looks like a cheesy B-movie but it looks fun, false advertising much? I'd also like to ask why everyone calls these creatures monsters when they're clearly space aliens or extraterrestrial life. It sounds ridiculous because everyone knows monsters live under your bed. K so the story follows a group of US soldiers from their rough neighbourhood in Detroit to their new post somewhere in the Middle East, think Iraq, just don't say it. These guys are a typical bunch of foul-mouthed, trigger happy, egotistical macho-men wannabes that are completely unlikable from the off. Their hometown area in Detroit is basically a ghetto which the lead youngster claims to hate (through much solemn narration), but he seems to love being a ghetto boy to me, with his homies. An early scene showing the guys at an underground illegal dog fight between a dog and baby monster (alien) is pretty grim, right there I no longer gave a fuck about these guys. To top that the guys then embark on a final night out with prostitutes, booze and cocaine! despite one of them recently having a baby with his wife!! Once in the mystery Middle Eastern country of Iraq the young new recruits are introduced to their stereotypical, ultra masculine squad leaders. This is the part in the movie where they rip-off every other military movie (but mainly 'Aliens' yet again) with much uber macho posturing, more profanity and general displays of all-male, red-blooded manliness. Its also around now when every time these guys do anything, some rock music kicks in, every time. Eventually I realised the director is kinda trying to make his own modern day Nam flick with modern day tunes. It is also quite clear that the director is trying way way too hard, I get what you're wanting to do here but dude seriously, back off, all you have achieved is making me not like any of your characters. So this team of butch, hot-headed, jingoistic soldiers get sent on a mission to rescue some other soldiers from deep within this desert filled country. Oh you might have thought I forgot about the monsters, you remember them? they're suppose to be the main focal point of the plot. Well it just so happens that the monsters from the first movie have evolved and...caught a plane to the Middle East I guess (they were in Mexico in the first movie) because now they're breeding there. Apparently the US has been bombing the living snot outta these space monsters trying to keep them under control, unfortunately, and rather amusingly (and typical of humans), they have also been accidentally bombing the living snot outta the locals too. This in turn has caused an insurgence against American forces, so now the troops have to deal with aliens AND angry Middle Eastern countrymen that all look remarkably like terrorists. The aliens (or monsters) in the movie are rendered faithfully in CGI and do look terrific I must say. The huge leggy creatures slowly stomp across the desert terrain with grace and actually look beautiful in the process, like a herd of slow moving elephants. At the same time there are new breeds that are more like horses or buffalo, they gallop across the desert in packs, almost in a 'Jurassic Park'-like stampede. These creatures also look really good, great design and of course in full CGI, but not obviously. The problem is the monsters don't actually feature in this movie!! they are literately a background element, window dressing. They do appear more than in the first movie but they don't actually do anything, a bit of sniffing around, knocking down the odd building or structure, the odd lurch at a human. They never attack anyone, eat anyone or cause any kind of threat ever! this leads me to wonder why the Yanks are so intent on wiping them out (stupid question). This fact also leads into the traumatic human element of the movie. Bottom line, this movie is all about this team of soldiers and their harrowing fight for survival against the insurgents after they get ambushed (not the monsters/aliens...whatever). This has nothing to do with the monsters at all, the monsters aren't a threat, so to that degree you can understand why the native folk are so angry with the US soldiers, the aliens aren't doing anything, the Americans are causing mass destruction. Thing is I don't think the director/writer actually intended that, its just how the story came out. They clearly wanted to make a gritty, contemporary war film chock full with the horrors of war, morals, human values...and then bolted on the space monsters as an after thought (in the background). The whole theme is very obviously an analogy for the war in Iraq. Innocents getting killed, children starving and living in bombed out shacks, towns destroyed, infrastructure gone etc...Its all here filmed in the most predictable cliched way possible, shaky cam, moments of deafening loudness, moments of shell shocking induced silence, slow motion, overexposed shots, lots of shouting, grimacing and a bucket load of man tears. Think 'Black Hawk Down' thrown into a blender with 'Cloverfield', but the aliens don't do anything. The film does actually look really slick, the whole thing has been well shot with plenty of care and attention to detail. The filming location of Jordan helps ten fold offering some exquisite natural beauty which in turn gave the director the opportunity to capture some truly spiritual scenes. The long distant shots of these herds of huge aliens set against the desert dawn, dusk or brilliant daylight, are stunning, some shots reminded me of 'Halo' honesty. So yes the film does look excellent at times, it is highly realistic, at times punishing and brutal and its well made. Had this been the directors own stand alone war flick (and nothing to do with 'Monsters'), I'd be giving a different write up. On that front its very good, its not very original now but like I said, its well made. Alas its suppose to be a sequel to 'Monsters' and clearly this isn't. The director has clearly gotten lost and carried away with his own pet project.
too much war, not enough monsters.. just like the first film, always a different story than the title...
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