Reviews

Monsters vs. Aliens

4

A B-movie, with 3D CGI

That kid in the DreamWorks logo sure takes some punishment. Stung in Bee Movie and mugged by a penguin in Madagascar 2, he opens Monsters Vs Aliens by being sucked into a spaceship.

Oh, well: at least he isn’t crushed by a meteorite on his wedding day and is promptly transformed into a 50ft woman.

That fate is reserved for Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), the heroine of a brisk spin on the 1950s B-movie that merrily riffs on The Fly, The Blob and Creature From The Black Lagoon.

It’s these which provide the inspiration for the cockroach-headed scientist (Hugh Laurie), gelatinous gloop (Seth Rogen) and wisecracking reptile (Will Arnett) she meets after being transplanted from Modesto, California to a Men In Black-style prison.

But Dr Strangelove, War Of The Worlds and The Day The Earth Stood Still are in here as well in the war room shenanigans that ensue after an alien robot arrives on earth at the behest of Mars Attacks!-style space villain Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), much to the chagrin of General Monger (Kiefer Sutherland), a belligerent blowhard clearly modeled on George C Scott’s Buck Turgidson.

Indeed, there’s so much retro detailing you wonder who the target audience is for a picture whose arcane references will soar over the heads of younger punters.

Luckily there’s lots of in-yourface fun to keep them entertained, a bat-and-ball gag in the initial minutes introducing impressively rendered “InTru 3D” technology that reaches its apotheosis during a terrific set-piece on the Golden Gate Bridge.

For the most part, however, it’s best utilised adding depth-offield to the striking visuals, proving, like Bolt before it, that 3-D has more to offer than shockorama trickery.

Now if they could only find a way of doing it without the glasses!

Neil Smith

Verdict:

A snappy script and some neat 3D make for an above-average romp with plenty of in-jokes for cineastes and fan-boys alike.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • graham6

      Mar 31st 2009, 21:44

      4

      This was really well done, not overdoing the whole B-Movie thing. All the voice casting is great, it looks fantastic (especially in 3D) and it's up there with all the other Dreamworks creations. My only criticism is that its a lot shorter than expected, and ends quite abruptly. But this is still fantastic!

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    • beneaton4

      Apr 17th 2009, 22:08

      5

      After the relative disappointment I experienced watching Wall-E (yes, I know that is akin to blasphemy to some people, but it started off boring and got silly and boring on the spaceship, alright?), this film more than made up for it - the gag hit/miss ratio was high, the 3D really gave a sense of depth thanks to well chosen set-pieces and camera angles, and the retro silliness was just great - even a chatty and annoying child in the row behind couldn't put me off! And can I just say that the US President in this film would easily come in a list of the top 3 screen presidents of all time, if not for the one-liners ("General! Respond with violence!") then definitely for the inspired stupidity of his welcome to the initial alien visitor!

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    • RaveyDaveyGravy

      Apr 29th 2009, 12:44

      3

      Total film thinks this is as good as Wall-E, not a chance. Watch it without the gloss of 3D and its average at best, the humor was awkward, the characters (mostly) unlikeable. Great scene on the bridge though

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    • duncan1964

      May 15th 2009, 14:18

      4

      A group of monsters being held by the government are let loose to defaet invading aliens. Clever, funny, witty and with enough funny lines and movie references to keep even the most jaded parent happy

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    • JD1994

      May 17th 2009, 21:37

      2

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    • itchygoo

      Jun 29th 2009, 16:10

      2

      Pretty poor effort, especially when compared to prior stuff such as Wall-e. I thought the characters bar the giant woman were weak as were the jokes. Came across as a poor, childs' version of Mars attacks.

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