HBO’s last of us One of the best video game adaptations ever made for the big or small screen.
That’s the blurb HBO wanted for this post-apocalyptic tale of desperation, perseverance, and zombies, and it’s the blurb HBO is sure to get — because it’s almost indisputably true. Plus, it underlines how well last of us is simply as a TV show—albeit one an existing fan will recognize closely, sometimes shot-for-shot and line-for-line, from its Naughty Dog source material.
last of us
Viewers will not be gassed to death by this effectively terrifying adaptation.
best thing i can say last of us that is, as often as it made me think the walking dead – and it’s inevitable that it will make you think the walking dead – it more often reminds me of desperate, tired humanism station elevenand even of the deeply felt central relationships in Charlotte Wells’ film after noonAn otherwise very different story of a father and daughter learning to communicate in a strange world.
So here’s your alternate introduction, HBO, which I expect to see on billboards nationwide: “last of us: I like this after noon With terrible mushroom-men!
Adapted by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) with game producer Neil Druckmann, last of us begins with a 1960s TV panel show warning about the dangers of an evolving global fungal infection before jumping to 2003, where Texas contractor Joel (Pedro Pascal), his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker) and their brother Everything is back to normal for Tommy (Gabriel Luna). , Then, almost in no time, there are reports of unrest in Jakarta ranging from panic in the streets to airplanes falling out of the sky.
twenty years later, the Cordyceps The infection has nearly wiped out humanity, leaving the survivors in some urban quarantine zones under FEDRA’s regulatory thumb. Joel has become an outlaw, smuggling with accomplice Tess (initially an unrecognizable Anna Torv), mostly looking out for himself.
That’s when the leader of a resistance movement (Merle Dandridge’s Marlene) introduces 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to toughen her up. Ellie is an orphan who only grew up in a post-plague world, and she’s special: she was bitten by one of the infected, who still roam the earth in myriad forms, but she hasn’t turned. Ellie’s immunity may offer hope to humanity, but only if Joel and Tess can get her to a facility across the country – no easy feat, as every post-apocalyptic drama since has emphasized. have attempted to give, is as bad as wiping out most of humanity already was, people in the end Could be far worse.
last of us The Mazin-directed pilot isn’t bad either, but it feels too familiar to sustain its 81-minute running time. Given how many shows came from pre-existing IP, it’s just an eerie coincidence that ever since the world went into waves of pandemic lockdowns in the spring of 2020, audiences have been inundated by pandemic-set series — some of which notable as station elevenforgettable as a remake of some tripod and some went completely unnoticed as AMC+ AnnaBut most are driven by very, very similar introductions to the dystopian New Normal.
I don’t want to say that when you’ve seen an ivy-covered city in ruins, a wrecked freeway littered with car shells, or a trained military peon threatening death to a starving group of stragglers If they go one step further, you’ve seen them all. But the expertly made pilot certainly points to diminishing returns, even when it comes to shock value in tipping off a character audiences expected to be a hero. The episode will actually give little clue to newcomers as to why this property gets people so excited.
The second episode, with Druckmann taking over the directing reins, shifts the series into gear with the introduction of the Ellie/Joel relationship that is not only the heart of the series; This is series. The terrifying, reluctant savior and spunky last-hope-for-humanity child dynamic is anything but familiar in the pilot, but it’s rarely captured lovingly and lovingly by Pascal – able to show his face for this version’s Mando and Baby Yoda – and especially Ramsey, who viewers will remember as Lyanna Mormont, who saves the latter’s grace game of Thrones season’s. Pascal expertly embodies the excitement and growing affection that Joel feels, but it’s Ramsey who consistently overcomes the inconsistent American accent and instantly transforms Ellie into intelligent-but-not-too-intelligent, fearless-but-not-fearless. , funny-but- makes it. Not-annoyingly-ridiculous. Joel and the players of the game make a commitment to die for him and viewers can prepare to do so from the stakes-free comfort of a couch.
That second episode brings us our first meaningful exposure, so to speak, to the series’ version of the infected, the zombies. Achieved by the VFX team led by Alex Wang and the makeup department led by Connie Parker, the creatures come in a wide array of flower blossoms in place of bodies, and they are properly gross and nightmarish. More than that, they’re fresh and exciting, a style palate cleanser after Greg Nicotero’s iconic Walking Dead Lurching, version of the insatiable dead. They’re awful and, for the show’s benefit, they’re ultimately completely unnecessary.
the third episode is the one that elevates last of us From a breezy romance to something on the verge of something really special. A rare 75-minute TV episode that didn’t cause me to look at my watch more than once, it’s mostly a portrait of an unlikely and utterly heartbreaking relationship between survivors played by Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (so good and are so inextricably linked that the TV Academy may need to set a new precedent with a shared guest acting nomination). directed by Peter Hoar, whose it’s a sin The bona fide only adds poignancy, it’s basically a undo-free full detour from the breathless episode that came before, a standalone that does nothing to dampen the series’ opening momentum.
It sets a template for the rest of the season, featuring one- or two-episode encounters with other communities and other survivors, with stellar guests such as Melanie Lynskey, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Lamar Johnson, Ashley “Ellie” Artists join in. Play!” Johnson and Rutina Weasley go into the fold for brief, but utterly effective appearances. The ensemble assembled by casting director Victoria Thomas climaxes with Storm Reid, who appears in the season’s highly emotional seventh episode. Ever -Sometimes there is a “zombie” in the episode, but not always.
The speed with which these cameos come and go points to an admirable and almost immeasurable restraint from HBO and the creators, as it’s easy to imagine how these nine episodes could have been stretched over two or three seasons. Plus, there’s a structural similarity that—whatever—eliminates a sense of wonder. It’s one thing for someone to die at any time, but what if it always happened? Not exactly “shrug”, but close.
The hasty pacing pushes the brutality into voyeuristic sadism in some installments, especially the eighth, when the inflated body count loses all meaning and, for a better critique, Prestige TV is a rather Video game stuff. Could give a tiny bit of extra breathing room though I didn’t want more padding last of us Get extra in-depth in your commentary on The Way We Are Living Now, going beyond superficial takes on the darkness and light within human nature.
If they are, however, my biggest complaints about your blockbuster video game adaptation? Well you have done really well last of us,