Monsters vs Aliens

In recent years makers of kids films have taken into consideration the fact that adults have to sit through them too. They put in sly jokes, have good dialogue, and have a story. They have made the films beloved classics not just in the hearts of the child but in the hearts of their parents as well. This movie is just bearable. Monsters vs Aliens tries, really tries, but it just falls flat.

The movie starts with Susan (Reese Witherspoon). She is a bright eyed optimistic bride on her wedding day when she gets hit by a meteor which turns her into a giant monster. She is then taken to a secret government facility where she meets other monsters and she is dubbed Ginormica. There’s The Missing Link (Will Arnett), B.O.B (Seth Rogen), Dr Cockroach Ph.D. (Hugh Laurie), and Insectosaurus. Earth is then attacked by aliens, well technically a robot created by one alien who then clones himself, and this group of monsters is sent out to save the day under the guidance of General WR Monger (Kiefer Sutherland).

This isn’t a horrible movie. There are a few laughs, there is an ok story, and it is bright and colourful. The “adult” jokes aren’t sly or witty they are just sitting there on the surface. Easy pop culture references that are easily picked up on like playing the tune from Close Encounters to communicate with the alien robot and then trying “Axel F”. Those references would have totally gone over the head of the kids but they did seem to like the music and the dancing that went along with it. Those movies came out in 77 and 84 so it may have even gone over some of the younger parents’ heads.

The real problem lies in the fact that the further away you get from the main characters the more fun people get. Susan comes of as whiney. She mopes and complains through most of the movie. The other monsters are fun. Missing Link is macho, BOB is a brainless gelatinous mass so he can’t help but be funny, and Dr Cockroach is a mad scientist. I even enjoyed the General and the Alien, Gallaxhar, who was voiced by Rainn Wilson. But they aren’t given any back story or explanation. Then there is the President, voiced but Stephen Colbert, who just steals the show whenever he is on screen. I can’t tell if he steals the show because it is Colbert or because it is the character. But there was definitely not enough screen time. There is even more voice talent in this movie. They include Paul Rudd, Jeffery Tambor, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Renee Zellweger, and John Krasinski. Even with all this talent they just couldn’t pull it off.

I walked out of the theater not utterly disappointed or overjoyed. I left feeling like I watched a movie and passed some time and that was about it. There was no residual like or dislike just a shrug. Meh.


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