Love Death + Robots: Volume 2 is the long awaited follow up to the shockingly dark animated anthology of short stories, brought to you by Deadpool’s Tim Miller and Seven’s David Fincher as well as Jennifer Miller and Josh Donen. The show is known for its masterful artistry, brutal violence, virtuosic genre diversity and very real ethical dilemmas of the future to be. Be sure to check out Dan’s review of Love Death + Robots: Volume 1!
With that being said, let’s dig into this existential nightmare and get whimsically uncomfortable!
AUTOMATED CUSTOMER SERVICE
Like Wall-E meets Hal 9000, this introductory episode perfectly sums up what Love Death + Robots is all about. Eerily realistic but cartoony animation mixed with humorous tension and a dark commentary on household machines and customer service. You won’t be scarred for life with this one but you will be frightfully giddy and uncomfortable throughout.
What does it mean to be a modded human being? Are you better or just different? One brother looks to prove himself as an equal amongst a gang of modded beings (including his younger brother) on a thrilling but beautiful race across the ice. The animation is sharp and cold to synergise with its gripping brotherly narrative. The only downside being some hoaky dialogue which I think is supposed to be cool.
In a world of revolutionary evolution, overpopulation is a crime. The birth of immortality breeds inhumanity as one cop discovers. This is the “I can’t believe it’s not butter” of computer-generated animation in this series; with the exception of some artistic choices (characters would be right at home in the Dishonoured franchise), you could believe this was a live action Blade Runner spin off. Despite the heavenly possibilities of a futuristic utopia, the story is a dystopian abyss of the primal human condition that will pull on your heart strings.
SNOW IN THE DESERT
Regenerative immortality is only a peaceful existence if everyone has it, otherwise you’ll be hunted down for what makes you tick. Did you like The Mandalorian but wished it could be Rated R? Here’s your episode! Once again, seamlessly computer-generated animation to the point where you might as well make it a live action story, brought down a little bit in its action sequences that can look somewhat rubbery at times. Otherwise, this is once again a perfect trifecta of love, death and robots.
THE TALL GRASS
The distant lights of the dark don’t always lead to safety, stay with the train or risk not coming back. Usually I’m not a fan of the jittery shell shaded animation style but its utilization here blends impeccably with the creepy industrial age charm of this episode. In comparison to other episodes, this is the least impactful but no less thought-provoking in its themes and artistry.
ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE
There’s a reason you need to be sleeping when Santa comes to town, these two curious kids will never forget to be good. This is the shortest but potentially the best episode of this volume. If you enjoy practicality in your stories such as stop motion animation and Pans Labyrinthian horror, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a certified Christmas classic for all the family. Kids gotta learn to behave some way or another!
Never before has a pet playing with a laser tory been so stressful. Just the uncanniest of valleys in terms of life-like animation here, I’m unsure at times where the line between live action Michael B. Jordan and animation lands throughout this episode. You’ll feel every shot of pain, hopelessness and isolation in this space thriller. Welcome to Life Hutch!
THE DROWNED GIANT
Ending on a colossal note, we are invited to experience an Osymandian tale of woe and modern society in the face of the grandiose and gargantuan. Where there is no life or power, humanity dwindles and leaves only a materialistic carcass. While by no means a poorly animated episode, in fact it is suitably unbelievable how detailed and realistic the animation is, the crutch of this episode is the thought-provoking message of humanity’s eclipsing capacity for inhumanity and a commercialised circle of life.
In conclusion, Love Death + Robots: Volume 2 is a solid and surprisingly easy watch. There are significantly less episodes than its predecessor and that loss is not entirely made up for with extremely diverse animation styles. The styles utilized however, bestow an uncanny valley of realism and a bouquet of beautiful colours and artwork to blossom the masterful short stories. In my opinion, less is more. I personally began to tune out towards the latter episodes of Volume 1.
This volume lands a softer blow in comparison to the viscerally disturbing twists and menacing gore of Volume 1 but rest assured, that trauma is still present and is sure to keep you on your toes!
If you enjoyed our Review of LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS: VOLUME 2 then rate or comment below.
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