MONSTERS vs ALIENS
General Release 2009
94 minutes approx
Dr Cockroach..............................Hugh Laurie
Missing Link.............................Will Arnett
Directed by -
Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
Written by -
Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky, Rob Letterman, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger
Susan is an ordinary girl, but this is no ordinary day. She's goung to the chapel and she's going to get married. That is until a meteor strike turns her into a fifty foot woman and the government spirits her away to a secret facility where she meets other monsters - a scientist with the head of a cockroach, the missing link, a blob and a giant bug. This group get a chance to regain their freedom when a robot threatens San Francisco, but find that saving one city is not enough to secure the love of ordinary people. Perhaps defeating the robot's master when he arrives will do the trick.
From the opening shot of the Dreamworks SKG fishing kid being alien abducted, the film sets out its stall. It intends to humorously reference the science fiction greats and there are certainly plenty of those from the characters (obviously THE FLY, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, GODZILLA, THE BLOB and ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN) to musical (the inevitable CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND five tones to visuals (that opening EARTH Vs THE FLYING SAUCERS moment , INDEPENDENCE DAY, STARMAN) and verbal in-jokes (Condition Nimoy anyone?).
Reference spotting, however isn't enough. The plot is simple and allows for comedy, action aplenty and even character drama, but the former is fairly light on actual laughs whilst the latter is the old 'be yourself' schtick. Action, though, you get in spades. CGI was invented to blow stuff up and here there's a giant robot, the Golden Gate Bridge and a huge spaceship to devastate.
The voice cast aren't given enough to work with effectively and end up giving workmanlike performances that can't raise the level of the piece.
Oh and it's in 3D, so when you see it flat you'll possibly wonder about early shots of things Comin' At Ya! It's not too intrusive later on. Whether it makes the experience, we can't say as we like seeing our films flat to see if they work without gimmicks.
This one just about does.
Kids will enjoy it as much as they enjoyed KUNG FU PANDA, though it won't give the Pixar boys any sleepless nights.
We do have to admit that we loved the President, though. He rocks!Top
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