Director Gareth Edwards' "Monsters" earned him a gig directing this year's "Godzilla" reboot. It also dabbled in some serious social issues like immigration.

Will the “Monsters” sequel pick up that baton and dash with it?

“Monsters: Dark Continent” doesn’t have a U.S. theatrical release date yet, but the trailer and official synopsis suggest it has more on its mind that the standard monster romp.

 

American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won. Noah, a haunted soldier with several tours under his belt, is sent on a mission: an American soldier has gone rogue deep in the Infected Zone, and Noah must reach him and take him out. But when Noah’s unit and transport are destroyed, he finds himself with only a young and inexperienced cadet for company – the brother of the man Noah has been sent to kill. The two soldiers must go on a life-altering journey through the dark heart of monster territory, accompanied by a young local woman to guide them. By the time the three of them reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.

Let all that sink in a moment.

Sounds like a movie that could have hit theaters during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office. Will the “monsters” referenced in the final sentence be U.S. soldiers, or the terrorists the Western world has been battling in earnest since 9/11?

Science fiction films routinely explore issues that dramas either skirt or tackle in a heavy-handed fashion. Genre films also fall into the latter trap. Consider “Elysium” as one brutal example. This year’s “Snowpiercer,” for all its overt class warfare claptrap, showed superior storytelling can overwhelm the most annoying soap box moments.