Whether it’s fighting an genetically modified grizzly bear in a CIA mountain stronghold or recounting the fall of humanity through the mockery of advanced robots or battling evolutionary evolved rats in a Scottish barn, “Love, Death + Robots” continues to tackle the strangest stories in the most advanced visually stunning ways.
It is a real treat to see these visual masterpieces come to life, packing each short anthology story with the life and vibrance of a feature film. Yes, even big budget blockbusters should be jealous of the capabilities and narrative compositions of “Love, Death + Robots.” You would think after 3 seasons, the uniqueness and initial intrigue of the series would’ve worn off by now. But, this Netflix offering continues to exceed all expectations, even when the bar of said expectations are set by the show itself.
I will admit that while I was rather complimentary of season 2, in retrospect I don’t think it holds up as well as its predecessor. The stories just didn’t strike the same unforgettable resonance as its first round, despite having incredible visual craftsmanship. Somehow, season 3 of “Love, Death + Robots” manages to correct any and all mistakes, and almost rivals the first season.
S3 is comprised of 9 dazzling stories, all of which continue to push the limits of what we can do with visual effects and digital technology today. It is astounding what can be achieved in the animated and visual effects world, and “Love,Death + Robots” is a demonstrative bolstering of just how far we’ve come in this digital age.
Frankly, this season puts every single major studio on notice. Your argument may be “talent is the cost of big budget productions” and while that may be true, “Love, Death + Robots” has no shortage of high profile writers, directors, and actors voicing their characters, especially in this most current season. And while you can make the argument they aren’t contracted for too much work, it’s not a good enough excuse for the current lackluster visual effects that yes, even Marvel Studios is putting out.
If “Love Death + Robots” can do in 8 minutes what “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” couldn’t do in 2 hours and unlimited bankroll, then we have a very serious problem and the animated series undoubtedly exposes those shortcomings.
The thing is, you can’t make the excuse that big budget productions spend most of their money on talent and skimp on the visual effects, or that 2 hours of visuals effects is exceedingly more costly than a 20 minute short. And that would be true, except that “Bad Traveling” has David Fincher at the helm, and sports a voice cast of Elodie Young, Troy Baker, and Jason Flemyng. Sure, they aren’t collectively as expensive as say Robert Downey Jr. for a 5 minute appearance in a Marvel Studios end credit scene, but they aren’t cheap and/or free either.
The point is, “Love Death + Robots” is so visually ahead of everything else and the lackluster outings from powerhouses currently have been a major point of contention from even the most diehard of fans demonstrates the immense gap of what is possible against what is delivered.
Fincher’s “Bad Traveling” is perhaps the greatest example of possibilities. It is everything you could ever want from a Fincher short; haunting, unsettling, tense, visually masterful and of course, a twist ending you didn’t see coming. Yes, all of this happens in 21 minutes. “Love Death + Robots” is clearly past its experimental phase of season 1, becoming a fully realized masterpiece of anthology that the best filmmakers working today want to be apart of. I legitimately want Fincher to direct a feature length, animated feature of “Bad Traveling,” set in the same world with the same characters but more time to explore all of those elements. It is that impactful in such a short period of time, and is a further testament to just how good the series has become.
I don’t think I need to belabor the point anymore than I already have. “Love Death + Robots” continues to be a must watch for Netflix, and this new season may very well be the best season yet. Easily consumable, quickly bingeable, and expertly crafted both narratively and visually, this is everything you crave from adult animation. It just doesn’t get better than season 3 of “Love Death + Robots.”
Also, any series who uses their first episode to take swings at Elon Musk has my vote.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
“Love, Death +Robots” season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix. You can watch the trailer below.