Oooze gonna save us?
Running Time: 94 minutes
US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
Its like the East Coast/West Coast rap feudno, not the monsters fighting the aliens, DreamWorks vs. Pixar. Pixar has been winning that battle for years with stuff like Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo, while DreamWorks, though offering the occasional Shrek, still churned out clunkers like Shark Tale. Monsters vs. Aliens isnt up to par, story-wise, with either Toy Story OR Shrek, but it gets a few extra kudos for its grand, stunning use of 3-D.
Starts off, poor Modesto, California-bred Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is knocked out by a meteorite on her wedding day and finds shes been mutated to a whopping 49 feet 11 inches tall. Needless to say, the wedding is off, and Susannow deemed Ginormicais hauled off to join fellow monsters at a top-secret government facility. Here she meets others of her kind: Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), The Missing Link (Will Arnett), and Mothra-esque Insectosaurus, but when the bad guy aliens, led by the nefarious Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), decide to invade our planet, these former oddballs are called on by none other than the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) to save our collective skin.
The effects, especially the 3-D bits, are stunning, and having witnessed both live action and animated 3-D in recent months, its clear the medium has improved since the old days, and that the places where it can truly shine are in computer animated fare like this. All that being said, the movie itself is a bit of a letdown. With a voice cast straight out of my nerd-girl dreams (Dr. House, Jack Bauer, AND Stephen Colbert all in one placeplus Dwight and Jim from The Office?) and a premise straight out of 1950s sci-fi B-movies, I was ready for non-stop giddy joy, but all I really got were pleasant chuckling and mild entertainment. Its not that anything is necessarily bad or wrong about the movie, it just lacks any real character development, which isnt always a big deal with cartoon kid flicks but which becomes an apparent flaw when said flick is accompanied by such promise. Rogen is an exception to the bland rule, however, and his big, gloopy B.O.B. steals the show over and over again and serves to reinforce my ever-growing Seth love. Overall, Monsters vs. Aliens may fall victim to its own hype, and DreamWorks still isnt on the same storytelling page as its nemesis Pixar, but the effects are great, the jokes are funny enough, and if you see it in 3-D, it may even be worth paying full ticket price.
It's Got: My secret boyfriend Seth Rogen, 3-D to rave about, Cool names like Ginormica.
It Needs: A little more of the clever, A little more of the development.
B-movie sci-fi fans will revel in the references, and kids will enjoy the spectacular effects and funny creatures, but Monsters vs. Aliens, while a technical marvel, isnt much more than a pleasantly forgettable kid flick without its 3-D.