Sunday, April 26, 2009

Movie Review: Monsters vs. Aliens

It's Susan Murphy's (Reese Witherspoon) wedding day and she is about to marry up-and-coming Modesto news anchor, Dexter Dietl (Paul Rudd). During the preparations, Susan and Dexter have a moment alone and Dexter confesses that they are not going to Paris for their honeymoon. Dexter has a chance for a job in Fresno, which could be his stepping stone to a larger market. Susan is disappointed, but as part of "Team Dietl," she'll accept the change in plans.

Dexter heads back to the church. Meanwhile, a meteor crashes nearby and Susan is irradiated. At the altar, she begins to glow green and grow. And grow, crashing through the ceiling of the church.

The men in the black helicopters are not far behind. Susan is captured and taken to a secret facility where she meets other "monsters": a blob (Seth Rogen), a mad scientist who is a cockroach (Hugh Laurie), the "missing link" (Will Arnett), and Insectasaurus--a giant caterpillar. And their guard, General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland), gruff and officious. There is no hope of escape; no hope of returning to "normal"--which is what Susan desperately wants.

Meanwhile, an alien is trying to recover the mysterious substance from the meteor that made Susan big. Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) at first sends down his evil robot to do his dirty work. General Monger realizes this job requires the talents of his "monsters" and takes them to the fight, which happens to be on the Bayshore Freeway (Highway 101), just south of Candlestick Park.

The ensuing fight takes place all over San Francisco, including a scene where the Golden Gate Bridge is demolished. Eventually, the alien robot is also destroyed. As a reward, Susan and her new friends are allowed to visit her family in Modesto, where she learns a few things about Dexter.

Meanwhile, Gallaxhar decides to retrieve the substance himself--which means he has to kidnap Susan. And so he does. However, her friends decide they have to rescue her. General Monger drops them off on the spaceship and promises to return.

Gallaxhar is using the substance to make clones of himself so he can take over the Earth. So our brave "monsters" not only have to rescue Susan, but also thwart Gallaxhar's plan.

Hubs and I paid an extra $3.00 to watch this movie in 3D. The effects were pretty awesome: the movie starts with a guy playing with a paddle ball that had me ducking in my seat. And the writers pay homage to several B-monster movies, including the aforementioned scene at the Golden Gate Bridge.

The attention to detail is amazing. Strands of hair and fur move, the backgrounds are realistic, including just the right amount of fog on the Bayshore Freeway, the buildings in downtown San Francisco, the streets of Modesto. The story is okay: believe in yourself, don't judge people by their appearances (even generals).

But this is not a story for younger kids. One toddler spent the entire time crying (and mom was trying to explain that they couldn't leave older brother, who was enjoying the movie, alone). I'm not sure if younger children would handle the 2D version better. I discussed this with my sister-in-law who has a five-year-old and a 2.5-year old. The five-y.o. would probably enjoy it, especially in 2D, because he loves Shrek and Monsters Inc. The 2.5-y.o. wouldn't be able to sit still for it. Some children will be scared by this.

For a DreamWorks movie, it wasn't bad. For once, the actors personalities didn't overwhelm the animated characters. And the storyline wasn't completely left behind for the special effects.

On the March Hare scale: 3.5 out of 5 Golden Tickets

(crossposted on The Mad Tea Party)

1 comment:

Watch Full Movies said...

It is fantastic, funny, and a genuine for-all-ages animation. You must watch it.