The Last of Us: Is It Worth The Watch? -Reviewed by – Shavin Whehella

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THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?

Introduction:

The highly-anticipated television adaptation of the beloved video game “The Last of Us” has finally arrived on HBO, and it does not disappoint. Developed by Naughty Dog, the post-apocalyptic thriller has gained a cult following over the years, and the series has been in development for quite some time.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Game Characters

But does it live up to the hype? As a fan of the game, I was eager to see how the story and characters would translate to the small screen. I can say with confidence that “The Last of Us” series is a masterclass in adaptation, blending faithful nods to the source material with new and exciting twists that keep the story fresh and engaging.

While “The Last of Us” television series is a successful adaptation, it’s worth noting that video game adaptations in film and television have had a mixed track record in the past. Many fans of video games have been left disappointed by poorly-executed adaptations that fail to capture the essence of the source material. Movies like “Super Mario Bros.” (1993), “Street Fighter” (1994), and “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” (1997) were notorious for being terrible adaptations of their respective games.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
HBO MAx

More recently, movies like “Assassin’s Creed” (2016) and “Tomb Raider” (2018) failed to capture the excitement and wonder of the original games. While the “Resident Evil” movie franchise received mixed reviews, the recent Netflix series based on the franchise has been more positively received. However, with “The Last of Us” television series, it’s clear that a thoughtful, faithful adaptation can be achieved with the right approach and talent.

Story

The story of “The Last of Us” is one of its greatest strengths. The show stays true to the game’s post-apocalyptic setting, in which a fungal infection has decimated most of humanity, and follows the journey of Joel, a smuggler, and Ellie, a young girl who may hold the key to a cure.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Joel and Ellie (Pedro and Bella)
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Pedro and Bella – HBO

The show’s writers have done an excellent job of adapting the game’s story for television, staying faithful to the game’s themes of survival, loss, and the bonds we form in the face of tragedy. The characters are well-developed and nuanced, with Joel and Ellie’s relationship at the heart of the show.

The pacing is also spot-on, with tense action sequences interspersed with quiet, character-driven moments. Overall, the story of “The Last of Us” television series is impeccably good and will keep viewers hooked from start to finish.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
THE LAST OF US – HBO

“The Last of Us” HBO MAX series boasts a talented and diverse cast of characters, played by talented actors. Joel, the gruff but kind-hearted smuggler, is portrayed by Pedro Pascal, who brings depth and nuance to the character.

Ellie, the brave and resourceful young girl, is played by Bella Ramsey, who delivers a standout performance and captures the essence of the character perfectly. Other notable characters include Tommy, Joel’s brother, played by Gabriel Luna, and Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies, played by Merle Dandridge.

The show also features a diverse supporting cast, including actors from various backgrounds and ethnicities, making it a refreshing change from typical Hollywood fare. Overall, the cast and characters of “The Last of Us” television series are one of its biggest strengths, and each actor brings something unique and memorable to their role.

Pedro and Bella

The heart of “The Last of Us” lies in the relationship between Joel and Ellie, and Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey’s performances as these two characters are nothing short of remarkable. Pascal and Ramsey share a natural chemistry on screen, and their bond is believable and touching.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Joel and Ellie (Pedro and Bella)

Pascal’s gruff and world-weary portrayal of Joel is balanced perfectly by Ramsey’s portrayal of Ellie, who is brave, resourceful, and deeply vulnerable. Together, they create a sense of intimacy and tenderness that is rare in modern television.

Their performances bring depth and nuance to the story, and they carry the emotional weight of the show with ease. Overall, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey’s performances as Joel and Ellie are one of the standout aspects of “The Last of Us” television series, and they are a joy to watch together on screen.

VFX and Make Up

The visual effects and makeup in “The Last of Us” HBO MAX series are nothing short of impressive. The show’s post-apocalyptic setting is brought to life with stunning attention to detail, from the dilapidated buildings to the overgrown vegetation that dominates the landscape.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
THE LAST OF US: VFX and Make Up (polygon)
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
THE LAST OF US: VFX and Make Up -HBO

The infected creatures that populate the world are also a highlight of the show’s visual effects, with their gruesome appearance and unsettling movements. The makeup work on the show is also exceptional, particularly on the actors playing the infected, who undergo a remarkable transformation that is both grotesque and hauntingly beautiful.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
THE LAST OF US: VFX and Make Up (The wall street journals)
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
“Clickers” VFX and Make Up – HBO
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
“Bloater” VFX and Make Up – HBO

Overall, the visual effects and makeup in “The Last of Us” television series are a testament to the dedication and skill of the show’s production team, and they add a level of realism and immersion to the story that is truly impressive.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
VFX – Reddit
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
VFX – Reddit
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
VFX – Reddit

Music Composition

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?

The music composition in “The Last of Us” is a work of art, thanks to the talents of Gustavo Santaolalla and David Fleming. Santaolalla, who also composed the music for the original video game, brings his signature blend of acoustic guitar, piano, and atmospheric soundscapes to the show’s score, creating a haunting and melancholic mood that perfectly captures the post-apocalyptic world.

Fleming’s contribution to the music of the show is also noteworthy, adding his own style and flair to the compositions, while still remaining faithful to Santaolalla’s original vision. Together, they create a soundscape that is both hauntingly beautiful and emotionally resonant, elevating the story to new heights. Overall, the music composition in “The Last of Us” television series is a standout aspect of the show, and it adds a layer of depth and emotion that is truly exceptional.

Video Game Comparison

When adapting a beloved video game into a television series, it’s natural to compare the two. In the case of “The Last of Us,” the television series manages to capture the essence of the video game while also making some notable changes. The show’s pacing is slower, allowing for more character development and exploration of the world.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Video Game Comparison – HBO

This is a departure from the game’s faster pace, which emphasized action and survival. The show’s adaptation of the characters is also notable, with some changes to their backstories and personalities. However, these changes are done with care and thought, and they add depth and nuance to the characters in a way that is unique to the television medium.

THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Video Game Comparison – HBO
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Video Game Comparison – HBO
THE LAST OF US: IS IT WORTH THE WATCH?
Video Game Comparison – HBO

Overall, while there are differences between the show and the game, “The Last of Us” television series does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the original while also creating something new and exciting.

Conclusion

In conclusion, “The Last of Us” HBO MAX series is a stunning achievement that captures the essence of the beloved video game while also delivering something fresh and exciting. From the exceptional performances of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey to the hauntingly beautiful music of Gustavo Santaolalla and David Fleming, this series is a feast for the senses. The show’s attention to detail and commitment to its source material is evident in every frame, creating a world that feels both familiar and new. On a scale of clickers to hunters, “The Last of Us” television series is a bloater, delivering a powerful and unforgettable experience that will leave fans of the game and newcomers alike eager for more.

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