Ten years after an alien probe crashed into Mexico, the monster plague has spread out of South America to the rest of the world. With 'Infected Zones' sprouting up all over the planet, and the Middle East has gone through an insurgency, in addition to being almost entirely taken over by the hordes of monsters. The army head into the area to deal with the insurgency, but in the process they are forced to deal with the overwhelming monster threat. With the fight between men and monsters, the army are forced to learn about the true value of life and love.
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In August of 1819, The Essex set sail from New England. The whaling ship set out beyond the edges of the map to hunt in unknown waters. What the 21-man crew discovered, was far from what they could ever have imagined. A sperm whale - absolutely gigantic and hell-bent on destroying their comparatively tiny ship. While battling the demon of a sea beast, the ship was destroyed, and many of the crew were killed. As the few survivors struggled to find land and make their way back to South America, they faced a harrowing adventure, and fought insanity, storms, starvation and despair. All with the great whale fresh in their minds. The crew referred to it as Moby Dick.
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Not only is this Irish drama sharply well written and directed, but it also features a jaw-dropping breakout performance by young Irish actor Jack Reynor. He's already been snapped up by Hollywood (Michael Bay has cast him in Transformers 4), but it's well worth having a look at his sensitive work in this haunting film.
Reynor is the eponymous Richard, an 18-year-old golden boy who charms everyone he meets. He's the natural leader of his local rugby team, attends university in his spare time and has a loyal gang of pals around him. Then one night he attends a house party with his new girlfriend (Murphy) and his closest pals (Drea and Walton), and a drunken confrontation turns ugly. What happens next is so sudden that it takes a couple of days for the ramifications to emerge, and Richard's life starts falling apart around him. He turns to his father (Mikkelsen) for help, but realises it's up to him to do the right thing. If he can.
The film is loosely based on a real event, and Campbell's script never over-writes the story, letting the situation develop in earthy, honest ways that focus on character interaction and introspection rather than big melodramatic clashes. And Abrahamson's astute direction makes it impossible to watch this film passively: we are thrown right into the situation along with Richard, forced to grapple with moral issues that seem very simple on the surface but ripple out in unexpected ways as the situation brings out aspects of his personality that he has always suppressed in order to live up to expectations.
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