Reviews for HBO’s “The Last Of Us” Call it an Astonishing Adaptation on Every Level

Last week, we wrote a bit about HBO’s upcoming The Last Of Ustheir most ambitious new series of 2023. There has been a slow, steady drumbeat of excitement about the new show as we’ve neared its January 15 premiere date, and now, the reviews suggest the excitement was warranted. The folks who have now seen the show are calling it a phenomenal, gripping drama and possibly the best video game adaptation of all time. Not a bad way to start the year if you’re HBO.

The Last Of Us comes from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the creator of the original game for video game company Naughty Dog. The series, which hews closely to the video game (but takes departures where necessary), is set 20 years after the fall of modern civilization, after a devastating parasitic fungal infection that essentially zombifies human beings. The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) after he’s tasked with moving some precious cargo out of the Quarantine Zone. That cargo goes by the name Ellie (Bella Ramsey), and their perilous journey makes up the thrust of the first season.

The game was beloved for being unlike any of its kind—a thoughtful, relationship-focused, human-level glimpse at two characters trying to survive an unthinkable nightmare. Instead of boss-level bad guys to fight, an endless stream of increasingly high-tech weapons, and a Resident Evil-like body count, the game is a slow-burn, an emotional, psychological epic as much as it is a zombie story. Mazin and Drukcmann’s adaptation sounds like an absolute dream for HBO, harnessing what makes the game so compelling yet also delivering a rich viewing experience for people who have never played the game, let alone heard of it. The Last Of us currently sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics marveling at the depth of the storytelling, the absorbing and terrifying postapocalyptic aesthetic, and the performances, led by Pascal and Rasmey

Check out what some of the critics are saying below. The Last Of Us arrives on HBO on January 15.

For more on The Last Of Us, check out these stories:

This “The Last of Us” Set Visit Reveals a Peek at HBO’s Biggest Swing in 2023

HBO’s “The Last Of Us” Looks to Become a Truly Great Video Game Adaptation

HBO Max Releases Long-Awaited & Decidedly Creepy Teaser Trailer for “The Last of Us”

HBO Reveals First Look at “The Last of Us”

Featured image: Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in “The Last Of Us.” Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO


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