The Last Of Us on Prime Video: how much is a series adaptation of a cult video game worth? – News Series
The most anticipated series in early 2023, The Last Of Us is finally here on Prime Video. Did the adaptation of the cult video game worn by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey work? Our review.
What is it about?
When the world as you know it ceases to exist, when the line between good and evil becomes blurred, when death manifests itself every day, how far will you survive? For Joel, survival is a daily affair that he manages in his own way. But when their path crosses with Ellie’s, their journey through what remains of the United States will test their humanity and their will to survive.
The Last Of Us series broadcasts on US+24 every week on Amazon Prime Video. Episodes seen: 9/9.
Who is it with?
Signing Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (video game franchise creator), The Last Of Us could count on a choice cast. The main roles of Joel and Ellie went to Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones, Catherine Called Birdy).
The rest of the cast includes household names from the TV world like Gabriel Luna (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD), Merle Dandrige (Truth Be Told) – reprising her role as Marlene from the video game! -, Anna Torv (Mindhunter), Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus), Lamar Johnson (His Majesty), Storm Reid (Euphoria), Nico Parker (Day Three), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets).
And surprisingly, two of Joel and Ellie’s video game translators – Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson – are also part of the game in very different roles than they have been in the video game franchise!
Worth a look?
Expected for two years, The Last Of Us is finally here on our screens. This serial adaptation of the acclaimed video game franchise arrives ten years after the release of the first game. Fans have long been begging for an adaptation on the big or small screen, so much so that a Sam Raimi-directed film was planned for 2015. , which has sadly been abandoned.
Five years after this missed promise, video game creator Neil Druckmann finds the ideal companion in Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) to develop a series commissioned by American cable channel HBO. With the duo of showrunners at the head of the project, fans quickly regained hope.
And they will be in for a wonderful surprise to find, after two years of intensive production, the best live-action video game adaptation with The Last Of Us at risk and many other adaptations of carpet-tripping video game masterpieces – but that is confirmed by watching the nine episodes that contain the season premiere the series.
More from the “zombie series”
The Last Of Us could be qualified – incorrectly – as the “new Walking Dead” because it deals with the same theme and it is a new “zombie series”, besides arriving in an empty box shortly after Frank Darabont’s series ended (despite the spin-off’s random quality since development).
Of course, many post-apocalyptic works preceded The Last Of Us and themes of pandemic or survival have been treated with ups and downs. We discover in The Last Of Us some of the well-known codes and stereotypes of this genre of fiction. But what could have been an obstacle to renewing the genre eventually became a strength for the series.
To conquer a fledgling public who would never have played a game, it was already easier to attract them with well-known genres where they would definitely find their bearings and their mark without being fans in the first place.
Most importantly, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann had the great idea of placing the plot in 2023 (rather than 2033 in the game), thereby bringing audiences – who have also really experienced the recent pandemic – closer to the experiences of the characters.
Also, thanks to some new sequences and didactics coming straight from the minds of Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, the public can better understand the issues of the series and understand the origins of a fungal infection called cordyceps, its mutation and its control. humans as well as the consequences of such epidemics on a declining society.
And who better than the man who has set out, through the Chernobyl series, to trace the history of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the purge efforts undertaken by the Soviet authorities to illustrate scientific discussion and political and army maneuvers in the face of the disaster that affected humanity in the depths of its existence? .
When you’re lost in the dark, look for the light
Because if the game really marked gamers, it was because of the characters, the universe, and the emotional power. Admittedly, The Last Of Us confronts players with dangerous situations facing enemies or infected of all kinds, which allows for added difficulty and high stakes for intense action, but the game is primarily about the human experience through its plot.
Therefore, it is very important that the television adaptation of The Last Of Us does not lose the essence of the video game franchise’s success. Through successive points of view from Joel and Ellie, the game breaks with established notions of good and evil, challenges our beliefs and blasts us with the birth or rebirth of love – fraternal, fatherly or romantic – that reigns between characters who have it all. experiencing the loss of a loved one.
In a dark and uncertain context, this search, conscious or unconscious, for human bonds, which seem impossible and can turn destructive, and for the glimmers of hope that drive our heroes. And it is in this field that Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin take us with their fitting adaptation of a great tragedy.
Because we have to address a huge problem any video game adaptation faces: the fact of moving from the experience of control on the part of the player living through the character and what he does with it, to the experience of the viewer to whom. need to feel similar or close feelings.
It goes through suspended moments, performances, introspection, dialogue and gestures, which further enrich the character. It also involves the introduction of new characters to put a more human, and therefore more violent, face to the menace or deviant behavior emphasized by the chaos that reigns in a world without faith or law where military oppression of FEDRA and Fireflies revolt. clash.
The duo even gives us flashbacks to known but undeveloped stories, including an episode centered around Bill and Frank’s romantic relationship. But it also reveals elements of the past that are important to the personalities of our heroes, particularly the story of brothers Henry and Sam or the DLC plot (downloadable content) The Last Of Us: Left Behindcenters on the romance between Ellie and Riley.
This bias necessitated changing a few turns in the scenario but also leaving out some of the game’s chapters and some of the fights with the infected, which could disappoint some. However, making shallow copy-pasting of games in the series will not do justice to The Last Of Us story and the mechanics of video games, however cinematic, and the series are not the same.
But let fans be assured, even though there are fewer monsters present on screen than in the game, the series still confronts us with some spectacular sequences, against Runners, Rangers, Claqueurs, or even the incredible Colossus.
An adaptation that meets expectations
We imagine that budgetary reasons are also the origin of the Infected’s less significant presence on screen, but it’s better to see less Infected quality than too much Infected with a malicious design. And to create these creatures, The Last Of Us can rely on the masterful work of Barrie Gower, renowned make-up artist and prosthesis designer who has primarily worked on Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Chernobyl.
Big names are not missing out on the series team as the series’ music is signed by Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla, who has been behind the video game’s soundtrack. Music is a key element of The Last Of Us universe as it lulls and sublimates many contemplative sequences.
Where The Last Of Us also has to captivate you is precisely the photography and staging. Between natural settings and special effects, the series almost veers to naturalism thanks to a sharp sense of detail and great attention paid to the transcription of a faithful universe, especially in key parts of the game, the gameplay mechanics are reproduced with fluidity and clever chapters.
Director Ali Abbasi (Nights of Mashhad), Jeremy Webb (Umbrella Academy), Peter Hoar (It’s A Sin), Liza Johnson (Physical), Jasmila Žbanić (The Voice of Aida), and Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin are directing respectively one episode , immerses the viewer in a very intimate atmosphere, close to the characters and emotions, without losing sight of the splendor of the expanses of America ravaged by the plague.
In addition, The Last Of Us can also count on the sincere and lively performance of its cast – Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the main and perfect roles in Joel and Ellie – who have perfectly understood the nuances, strengths and weaknesses of their characters. provide refined and relevant services.
Finally, it cannot be denied that the presence of Neil Druckmann, the game’s creator, as coshowrunner in the series is a major factor in this success. His investment in this project brings out the authenticity, sincerity, and passion felt in high-end drama transcription for HBO, a channel known for the quality of its work.
It’s a safe bet that Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin knew full well that the series could never outsmart its game and should therefore at least do so. They chose to approach the plot differently, such as the process of infection, while keeping the soul and poetry within the video game masterpiece.
Despite the fact that the game is too rich to fit into a single film, the serial format makes it possible to explore the characters in greater depth and bring deeper into the second blade, but above all to offer an intense, episodic experience. image viewer division into game chapters.
After this successful premiere season, we can only hope that the series will be renewed for another season to see the adaptation of the second game, The Last Of Us: Part II, which is an even more heartbreakingly deep and emotional experience than the first installment. Meanwhile, get your tissues ready for season one of The Last Of Us.
The Last Of Us broadcasts on US+24 on Amazon Prime Video.