Newest Reviews
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Battling Butler
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
Mind Benders, The
Mighty Wind, A
Newest Articles
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
  Monos Too Young To Die
Year: 2019
Director: Alejandro Landes
Stars: Sofia Buenaventura, Julián Giraldo, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Deiby Rueda, Paul Cubides, Sneider Castro, Moises Arias, Julianne Nicholson, Wilson Salazar, Jorge Román, Valeria Diana Solomonoff
Genre: Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the jungles of Colombia, the guerrillas wage their war, and must recruit from the young of the locals to replenish their numbers as much as possible. In this troop of eight, with barely a roof over their heads, they are trained regularly on how to use their firearms, keep up their strength and stamina, and basically how to survive in what are pretty dire conditions. They must also eat and drink, so to that end have been given a cow to look after that will provide them with milk: they name her Shakira. However, there is a woman they have to look after as well, one they name Doctora (Julianne Nicholson), an engineer their bosses have taken hostage and entrusted to the kids...

Director and co-writer Alejandro Landes was inspired by two main influences when he made his second feature: William Golding's classic novel Lord of the Flies, and the conflict that had raged in his home nation since before he was born. He took a mostly nonprofessional cast - Nicholson and Moises Arias are the only actors you may recognise, having notched up decent careers prior to this - and they and his crew were taken to the jungle to posit the kind of experience these people might go through should they be trapped in this battle situation. The answer to that is a living nightmare they try to survive with a macho brand of camaraderie: fighting, pairing off, firing their weapons.

Indeed, they seemed to spend more time grappling with one another, both aggressively and more carnally, than they did performing as soldiers against an actual enemy. Those opponents are more or less never seen, not for the vast majority of the picture anyway, though we did see their effects as every so often with no warning whatsoever an explosive would go off. The engineer did not appear to be an enemy so much as an innocent in between these two sides who had been opportunistically grabbed as a pawn in a war that has dragged on so long it was as if nobody knew why they were battling anymore, nor what started the war in the first place. Its pointlessness was purposeful.

The youth of the guerrillas delivered the message that all of those doing the fighting would not have been alive when the conflict began, heck, they would not have been alive at the halfway point in the fighting from the beginning to the stage we catch up with them. What was most disturbing was that these characters, most of whom were teenagers at least, would be hunted down themselves should they try to escape from this life of violence; when in the latter stages many of them are seeing sense and realising they have nothing to gain by this, and their lives to lose, they have essentially signed their own death warrants. Fight or die - or fight and die, that was the Hobson's choice they were faced with, as the young of Colombia were churned up in a civil war we are given no hint of reason about.

Many compared Monos to Francis Ford Coppola's sprawling Apocalypse Now, flattering it in the allusions to the last superproduction by a nineteen-seventies auteur to be a hit in that decade, conveniently forgetting what a pretentious mish-mash ended up on the screen, glorious as it was. This contained more focus, while managing to emphasise the chaotic, shapeless existence these soldiers were trapped in, where any rules were arbitrary and even living on your wits was no guarantee they would be enough to prevail. The scenery was often drenched in heavy rain, yet attained a kind of majesty, as if nature was looking on and sadly wondering why these kids were not appreciating it more instead of preparing to kill or be killed. If there was a problem, ironically it was that adherence to authenticity, so while you could well believe this was accurate to the atmosphere of a guerrilla camp, it did not make for much of a plotline. If you were prepared for that, it did impress. Music by Mica Levi, hallucinatory as the rest of it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 285 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: