Monos,” directed by Alejandro Landes, seemingly inspired by “Lord of the Flies” and taking place in the jungle of an unnamed South American country, is an ambitious attempt to follow young rebels in their battle for survival. However, the group is such an oddball entourage that one is hard-pressed to be sympathetic. A captured American woman engineer escapes and is hunted down. Despite harsh training by the group’s leader, the youths are ill-equipped for the challenges they encounter, and one knows matters will not end well.

The film was inspired by events in Colombia, according to the director, who wrote the screenplay with Alexis Dos Santos. There is an effort to work up suspense, and the cast, a mix of professionals and non-professionals, does its best to instill dramatic impact.

However, one is hard-pressed to take the characters seriously, as they are so weird individually and as a group that one, while recognizing the film’s good intentions, cannot get close to caring about what happens. A UTA Independent Film Group release. Reviewed September 13, 2019.

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