Monos (2019)

Alejandros Landes directs Moisés Arias, Julianne Nicholson and Sofie Buenaventura in this teen war movie where a unit of unstable child soldiers hold an American hostage on a misty mountain top.

Dirty gorgeous, intimate epic. My affection and attention to this swung about a bit. There are bursts of great filmmaking… in its best moments Monos evokes Apocalypse Now, Lord of the Flies, City of God, Sicario and The Emerald Forest. Yet I often felt like I was watching little more than a well studied exercise, cribbed from the best in Werner Herzog’s handwriting. Monos so rarely puts a foot wrong it gives off an unintentional air of roteness and predictability. Which is frustrating as the intention is clearly here to make an ambitious, unique film and the moments of burgeoning sexuality and action explode with a surge of risk that you kinda wish fuelled the bulk of the film. Oppressive score by Mica Levi, downloaded onto my Spotify.

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