94 Min. | Animation – Action – Adventure | April 2009
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Directors: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon
Staring: Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert
Monsters vs. Aliens Review: One of the great joys of watching “Monsters vs. Aliens” is that it is a delightful throwback and a parody of virtually every sci-fi “B”-movie made within the last 60 years. From “The War of the Worlds” (1953) to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), to “Independence Day” (1996), to “War of the Worlds” (2005), to Godzilla, to both the original and remake versions of “The Fly,” “The Blob” and “Attack of the 50 foot Woman,” you can bet that if it’s sci-fi and cheesy (cheesy sci-fi), it gets lampooned by the film-making team of Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, working with DreamWorks Animation. Nothing about the animation in Monsters vs. Aliens really stands out when compared to what we’re seeing from Pixar or Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli (his animation is truly the best, in my opinion), but “Monsters vs. Aliens” is pure fun from the start, beginning with a meteorite that crash-lands on Earth, or, more specifically, crash-lands on bride-to-be Susan Murphy.
Witherspoon’s Susan Murphy is really the most important character in Monsters vs. Aliens because she’s the only one with significant motivation and feeling. Her cohorts do their normal supporting-role thing and manage to stand out on their own, but don’t have the emotional depth that Susan Murphy does. As she’s walking down the aisle to her husband-to-be Derek (Paul Rudd), Susan starts to grow – and I mean really grow – into a 49-foot-tall giantess (while still somehow managing to remain fully clothed in her wedding dress), who the government later names “Ginormica.” She is soon taken prisoner, watched over by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland, “W.R. Monger” – “War Monger,” get it?) and introduced to characters who seem to have popped right out of ’50s sci-fi movies – the Gill-man The Missing Link (Will Arnett), the blob B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), mad-scientist Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), and the gigantic Insectosaurus.
The octo-pod alien Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) has plans for world domination, but the government soon sees it has no choice but to unleash these Monsters on an unsuspecting human populace to fight some nasty Aliens. “Monsters vs. Aliens” will at the very least keep you entertained. Should it be seen by adults? Sure, why not. If they’ve seen enough sci-fi movies over the years, then they might get a kick out of all the movies that get skewered during the proceedings. Obviously, kids will love it, especially B.O.B., who I found to probably be the best Monster character, largely because of Seth Rogen’s portrayal of the lovable, stretchable, if not completely brainless and virtually indestructible one-eyed mass of gelatin. “Monsters vs. Aliens” is a great way to kill 94 minutes of your life.