Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Monsters Vs. Aliens”

(Dreamworks Animation. 1 hour, 34 minutes. Rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language. Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon.) Voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Stephen Colbert. Music by Henry Jackman.

I admit I usually leave the animated movies to Jared, but I went to this one and found it a lot of fun with charming characters and good voice work. I actually liked this more than the Shrek films, Dreamworks’ bread-and-butter franchise. The “Monsters” are more enjoyable when you recognize what’s being spoofed, of course: those 1950s low-budget horror flicks such as Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, The Blob, The Fly, etc. They’ve been renamed here (probably at the behest of the Dreamworks legal department) as Ginormica (Witherspoon), B.O.B. (Rogen), Dr. Cockroach (Laurie), and The Missing Link (Arnett). They battle a giant alien robot controlled by Galaxhar (Wilson); along for the fun are General W.R. Monger (Sutherland), Ginormica’s self-centered fiancé (Rudd) and The President of the United States (Colbert). The critics haven’t been kind to this one; granted, the script could have used some pumping up, especially in the middle third. But most of those critics saw the movie in 3-D and I opted for the 2-D version. Dreamworks has made a commitment to releasing 3-D movies from now on; I wish them luck, as every attempt to revive that format (and there have been many) in the last 50 years has failed. Audiences seem to be enjoying it either way: it’s already grossed over $150 million worldwide.