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Home > The Last of US (2023): A Review

The Last of US (2023): A Review

The Last of Us

The Apocalypse Begins

HBO’s The Last of Us is a television adaptation of Naughty Dog’s video game from 2013 of the same name. The story follows a pair of characters in a dangerous infected world where a man named Joel has a troubled past, and a girl named Ellie is carrying a big secret. The show follows their journey as they navigate through a post-apocalyptic world. 

For years, there had been talks of an adaption of The Last of Us to a film or television show. The adaptation came to HBO under the creator of the games, Neil Druckman and Craig Mazin of Chernobyl. There is so much care put into every detail, action sequence, and moments of dialogue right out of the game and expansion of the game.

Who are Ellie & Joel?

The casting is excellent. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey outdid themselves as Joel and Ellie. The supporting cast is great as well, including Anna Torv, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Gabriel Luna, Melanie Lynskey, and so many more. The supporting characters that are mirrors of Joel and Ellie help drive the plot through all their different interactions as they are introduced along the way. Every single character has an impact on the story and Joel and Ellie in their own way. 

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal both have a lot to do and have to carry most of the show, as the whole story is about Joel and Ellie’s dynamic relationship. They are a great and fully realized Joel and Ellie. They both bring a lot to the roles, a lot of it being the emotional core. This is an extremely emotional story and shows ranging from moments of bliss and happiness to grief and loss. Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal enrich Ellie and Joel so much. They are different from their game counterparts, but they complement each other. 

Different Perspectives 

The show does a great job of showing certain scenes from the game through different perspectives and exploring more of the world as well as what could not be covered in the game. Due to this, the worldbuilding is well realized and you feel like you are alongside the characters in this post-apocalyptic world. The show is true to the already established lore and world while going deeper into what life looks like for survivors in different parts of the country and the lengths people go to in order to survive and protect their own. Every character is the hero of their own story and that is a core idea that spans the entire show.

The Last of Us

Part II?

For eagle-eyed fans, the show is full of a large amount of Easter eggs from huge connections to part two to some of the deepest lore from the original game, some of these being Shimmer, Dina, Jackson, Wyoming, and Jerry Anderson. Since season two is confirmed, it is welcome having direct references to part two. This season did a great job of setting up Ellie and her arc going into a second season. The introduction of new characters will be compelling, as the second season will explore how hate affects people instead of love.  

But You Can’t Deny That View

The show is visually stunning and all of the set design is absolutely incredible. Not only being right out of the game, but it truly looks and feels like a lived-in post-apocalyptic world. The series was filmed in Canada and the sets were built with care and attention to detail that is astounding. Everything looks and feels right out of the game’s aesthetic, but made for television. The prosthetics of the infected, injuries, infection, and bites are right out of the game, yet look realistic at the same time. 

Deeply Relatable Themes 

The themes of the show are explored in engaging ways that fit in well given the world and events the characters go through. The themes and story minus the infected are deeply relatable and The Last of Us tells a very human story. It is very clear that the show is about love and shows how different forms of love look between different people who still have hope, even during humanity’s downfall.

Endure & Survive 

The original voices of Joel and Ellie, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, have cameos. Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, and Laura Bailey do as well which make for fun Easter eggs for fans of the games and it is a treat to see them included in the show.

The soundtrack is also incredible. With features of Gustavo Santaolalla’s soundtrack right out of the games, original pieces, and other songs as well as covers, the soundtrack is definitely worth a listen to.

The ending is true to the game and the final episode is beautiful and is a great cap to the entire story and arc. The backstory given to Ellie is very fitting and answers a lot of questions. The finale is also where Joel and Ellie’s relationship comes to a head and is the end of their journey. 

The Last of Us

All in all, HBO’s The Last of Us is a great introduction to those unfamiliar with the source material and a great companion piece for fans of the games. The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO.

The Last of Us (2023) Official HBO Max Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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