Dylan O’Brien’s charisma goes the distance in the fleeting, but fun enough apocalypse adventure "Love and Monsters", which has the actor navigating an obstacle course of convenient twists, unabashedly cute characters, and mega-sized creepy crawlies. He's done well in a school of acting that has alums like Adam Brody and pre-Lars von Trier Shia LaBeouf - the art of being a little neurotic, with endearing self-deprecation taking the place of any stable cool - and this is an excellent display of O’Brien’s infectious imagination and comic energy. Plus, director Michael Matthews places him in a vivid apocalypse in which we're the ones in danger of being squished, as towering centipedes, snails, and slugs and more have wiped out 95% of the human population.
It’s a funny start then, how O’Brien begins “Love and Monsters” as a type of sidekick to a whole team of sexually active, bad-ass apocalyptic fighters, and he’s the chef. Vengeful, mutated animals might have been created from missiles that tried to shoot down a massive asteroid seven years ago, but some things in life are constant—some folk shack up with others quickly than others, and some people are much better at facing danger head-on. And then there’s O’Brien’s lonely Joel, whose main skill is that he makes a good minestrone soup.
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