Recensie HBO Max-series ‘The Last of Us’
Love and humanity in a lost world filled with creepy mushroom zombies.
Whether HBO planned it that way or whether it’s pure coincidence: after eleven seasons, the original is The Walking Dead has come to an end and there is a gap in the market for fans of zombies. EITHER The last of us That gap it will fill remains to be seen, but it’s a superior series nonetheless. Definitely not a copy of those others, much less undead and drama of a considerably higher level.
The last of us is a film adaptation of the video game of the same name. At the beginning of the 21st century, a parasitic fungus emerges that turns people into contagious zombies. The condition is spreading rapidly and is also affecting Joel and his daughter. He survives, she doesn’t. Twenty years later, the society that remains is armed in a different way, it is not good. Joel is assigned to smuggle a package from Boston to the western United States. That package turns out to be a girl the same age as Joel’s daughter, with one big difference: she is immune.
The source material for The Walking Dead was a long-running comic book series. Sometimes you could cram a lot of dialogue into such a thin book and then it was pretty soapy and unsubtle conversations. The movie tried to create a bit more depth, but of course it couldn’t deviate too much from what it was based on. And the comic was always about a larger number of characters, so you had to divide the attention. That affects how much you bond with a character.
The last of us on the other hand, it’s mostly about Joel and the girl he has to transport, Ellie. That alone makes this series more intimate. And the premise is that a man who’s lost his daughter now suddenly has a girl hanging on to her pants trying to bond with him, which locks his heart even more. The filming of this appropriates this one hundred percent, because of course it is a stagnant and melancholic conflict.
Many indoor and outdoor locations are a successful combination of a compelling look into a world gone by and a perfect replica of how it looks in the video game. Cities with a dilapidated building here and there and everything covered with vegetation, gloomy corridors and ransacked rooms. HBO has given the game creator a big finger in the pie. That is seen and it is also a plus.
The last of us It’s not an action show. The story revolves around the uninfected survivors and how they are still trying to find their place in this new world. That ensures that when the monsters appear, it hits a bit more intensely. In any case, they are not slow walkers, but athletic zombies. And when their heads are so moldy they can’t see, they have super hearing. Good job from the makeup department, and very creepy to watch.
What these zombies also have is collective contact, even with the fungal roots that grow in cities. As soon as someone steps on a mushroom, a horde of zombies in the area knows that there is something to infect again. Brilliantly chilling, but unfortunately completely untapped. The episode in which this fact is introduced is also the last one in which you will see it.
There is also an episode where opinions will be divided. It’s completely dedicated to two characters you don’t know. One viewer will find this wonderful standalone story, the other will be upset that the plot comes to a complete halt and the episode does little more than provide background for a character who is briefly discussed in-game.
Before the casting, HBO pulled a stunt of their own game of Thrones-bag. Both Joel and Ellie are played by actors who previously appeared in the expensive fantasy epic. Pedro Pascal may not look much like Joel in appearance, but he’s the right choice. He has already shown that he can be a rude bastard who eventually succumbs to his emotions. For the young woman they chose Bella Ramsey, that girl who in game of Thrones led an army.
Sometimes Ellie is meant to be a funny and smart American teenager. And that doesn’t always look good, because Ramsey himself is originally British and, more importantly, not entirely suited for humorous roles at the moment. But luckily, it’s only a handful of times when Ellie writes herself that way. In most of it, Ellie is scared, angry, insecure, emotional. And Ramsey plays him so excellently that he can count on several acting award nominations next year.
The two writers, including the game’s creator, know how to hit viewers in sensitive areas without resorting to easy tricks. The last of us It is not only for zombie fans, but for all lovers of good series.
The last of us can be seen in hbo max.