The Last Of Us Review
The Last of Us Part I and II rank among my favourite video games of all time. When this show was announced, I was both excited for what could potentially be the greatest game adaptation of all time, and nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my love of the source material. While it doesn’t quite hit the benchmark the games set, this is the the best game adaptation I’ve ever seen.
The faithfulness is astounding. From immaculately detailed set design, to the costumes, to the spot-on delivery of iconic lines, it’s clear that a lot of care went into ensuring this adaptation was done right. There are some big deviations, but they feel at home within this story. Episode 3 represents the biggest change, and it’s likely to be one of the finest episodes of television you’ll watch this year.
For this show to work, the casting had to be perfect. Not just in the quality of the performances, but more importantly, the on-screen chemistry. We needed to believe the bond that forms between Joel and Ellie, or the finale wouldn’t hold the emotional weight it needed to. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay made that chemistry work beautifully. Although we don’t get as much time with them as in the game, their evolving dynamic is handled quite well.
That brings me to my only real complaint - the pacing. The game is about 15 hours long, and most of it is spent with Joel and Ellie. This season is not only significantly shorter at around 9 hours, but two of those hours are spent on flashbacks. As important and beautiful as those flashbacks are, it leaves less time for Joel and Ellie’s relationship to develop as organically as it does in the game. Also, in trying to fit all the major game events into the season, some elements feel rushed, and don’t give the pacing the breathing room it deserves.
The Last of Us is not only a great season of TV, but it’s the best, and most faithful game adaptation of all time. Exceptional production design, beautiful storytelling and two outstanding lead performances make this a must watch, whether you’re a fan of the games or not. Despite some pacing issues, this is a new benchmark for game to screen adaptations.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett
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