The Last of Us Review: Finding Purpose at the End of the World

On June 14th, 2013, The Last of Us burst onto the video game scene with power. Packing a creative and interesting setting, melancholic tone, and bittersweet story, the Game of the Year Award winner took the world by storm and impacted millions worldwide. Like most popular media, an adaptation of the game was inevitable. But how does The Last of Us strike a chord with so many people? What makes this TV show so special? And why is Pedro Pascal so attractive?

In the world of cinematic universes, constant sequels, and complex and confusing dramas, The Last of Us is a bastion of simple and effective storytelling. Although the point of view switches positions, everything is focused on Joel and his story of loss and reconnection. No matter who you are, this story will find a way to connect to you. It helps that the show’s writing doesn’t have to wrap itself in several layers of satire and fill its quiet moments with bad jokes in order to be entertaining. Not saying the show isn’t funny; it is. It is also exciting and tense and stressful and cathartic and sad and joyful and every emotion possible, but it isn’t messy in its execution. The drama parallels its moments of gunfights and survival with quiet and somber moments of reflection and melancholy. A subjective opinion that should be objective, it is genuinely amazing.

Adaptations are an integral part of modern media. Ever since the ‘50s, popular books, comics, and tales have been adapted into movies, popular movies have been turned into games, and popular games have been turned into books and comics. Only in the ‘90s did the world experience video games becoming movies, and they were terrible. 

Do you remember the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie? Yeah, the live-action one that takes place in New York City where the goombas are lizards that wear trench coats and suits and Bowser is played by Dennis Hopper in dreads that has a gun that can turn people into monkeys. Or have you seen the SEVEN Resident Evil movies? Or the brain-meltingly dumb Warcraft movie? 

Yeah, it’s been brutal. 

The Last of Us breaks the trend of bad video game adaptations. Instead of drastically changing the game’s storyline (like the examples before did), it takes the source material in new and exciting ways that stay true to the original plot progression and themes. The most integral theme is also a trial the majority of the world is struggling with recently, finding purpose. 

After the world ends and the power shuts off and the internet goes down, and after everything goes wrong and we lose everything we had, what do we do? And more importantly, who are we? The main characters of the series are people we can all relate to. Whether you’re a parent, sibling, best friend, child, or spouse, we all deal with loss and we can all find purpose within each other.

Talking about finding purpose, they just KEEP ON GIVING PEDRO PASCAL WORK. And good for him! He looks good and acts even better. He’s played a dad surviving the apocalypse, an interstellar bounty hunter, a bisexual prince, a DEA and CIA agent, and a terrorist-fighting cowboy. Despite this, he still has time to get on SNL and joke about being Latino-American and people making Tik Tok edits of him. Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, and all the other actors create genuine and amazing characters, too. 

Anyways, watch The Last of Us on HBO Max today before Warner Bros. dissolves and is forced to go onto another streaming service.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s