Netflix continues to push boundaries and change the game with the variety of content it offers. Love, Death & Robots is an anthology of 18 animated shorts from the minds of Deadpool (2016) director Tim Miller and Se7en (1995) director David Fincher.
The variety of shorts are set across the sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and comedy genres to ensure there is something in here for everyone. The majority are outlined by NSFW content whether that be language, gore, sex, or nudity and it forms an overarching tone for the entire series. The adult content isn’t gore for the sake of gore or nudity for the sake of nudity. It all leads into and links to the stories being told, for the most part. Anyone watching this series for those elements of gore and titillation is going to get a lot out of it. However, that’s not all it has to offer as the majority of the short stories in here are greatly told especially for people who may have limited attention spans.
One reason I haven’t been a major fan of shorts in the past is that I struggled to get fulfilment out of the stories they tell. They don’t always feel complete to where I am satisfied with how I just spent my time. However, in Love, Death & Robots that all changes as the majority of shorts in here have great stories that begin and end quite well. Some get you through on insane action alone, some use comedy to drive you through, some feature some nice quick character development, and some use mystery and suspense to draw you further in. It really is a breeze to get through. The shorts range in length from 5 to 17 minutes which allow you to binge the entire series in one run or pace it out and check out a short here and there.
Variety extends through to the animation where the shorts all adopt a different animation style depending on the story being told. A few shorts utilise motion capture CG to give them a look that emulates something out of a video-game cutscene. Some go for a more drawn comic book look and there are a few that have a bit of a mix of both. One short titled Ice Age even features live-action content starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Topher Grace as a couple who discover a miniature civilisation living in their freezer.
All in all the anthology series isn’t all fantastic. There are a six in here that stand out above the rest, namely; Sonnie’s Edge, Three Robots, The Witness, Helping Hand, Ice Age, and The Secret War. All of these blew me away in different ways and even if you don’t check out the entire anthology you’d be fine if you stuck to these six. The rest of the shorts range from very good to a couple that didn’t grab me at all. Every short has some sort of futuristic/sci-fi element to it so if that’s not a genre you enjoy you might find it hard to connect to anything in here.
This love-child from Tim Miller and David Fincher comes across as more of an experiment for a specific audience as oppose to an attempt to create the next biggest hit. The idea of 18 unrelated animated shorts that contain adult content sounds interesting and there is a lot in there to enjoy. However, it’s not something you’d recommend to a wider audience outside of those who already subscribe to and enjoy this genre of content.