Ushering in what they hope will be a bold new era in 3D movie making, Dreamworks has set a very high standard with “Monsters Vs Aliens”. By combining science fiction and monster films, pop culture references, a strong cast, and cutting edge 3D technology, the film is likely to score big with audiences of all ages.
The story involves a bride to be named Susan (Reese Witherspoon), who is struck by a meteor shortly before her nuptials to local anchorman Derek (Paul Rudd). Before she can say “I do” Susan has an amazing growth spurt that soon has her towering over the church and eventually captured and subdued by a cadre of soldiers.
Susan is targeted as a monster by the government and awakens in a strange cell with fellow detainees B.O.B. (Seth Rogan), The Missing Link (Will Arnett), Dr. Cockroach PHD (Hugh Laurie), and Insectasaurus. While shocked and horrified to be in the company of monsters, Susan remains focused on getting back to normal and marrying Derek.
At the same time, an alien probe has arrived on earth and after a first contact effort by President Hathaway (Stephen Colbert), goes very wrong, the military soon realizes they are overmatched, requiring drastic efforts to save the planet.Enter General W.R. Monger, (Kiefer Sutherland), who reveals his captive monsters to the President and his staff with the idea that the only way to save the earth is to turn the monsters loose on the alien threat.
With a promise of freedom, the monsters and Susan (now dubbed Ginormica) seek to save San Francisco from the aliens. However, a greater threat is facing the earth from the alien Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), who has designs on Earth and the power Susan possesses, and will stop at nothing to get it. What ensues is a funny adventure that thanks to the stunning 3D visuals is one of the more enjoyable family films in years.
The amazing 3D effects truly allow for the audience to become immersed in the film rather than just occasionally entertained with a few simple gimmicks. The film has plenty to offer children, but parents should note that the film is PG rated due to some clever quips designed for older viewers.The nearly two hour film moves at a brisk pace, ensuring the monsters do not outstay their welcome, but it may still be a bit long for very young viewers. There are dimensions of the characters that I hope get expanded upon in future films, but I do understand that with such lavish visuals, action, not so much character development, takes centerstage, and the film certainly delivers adventure in spades.
The animation is first rate, as is the great ensemble cast, all of which combine to make “Monsters Vs Aliens” a fun viewing experience for the entire family, and a grand new direction for animation.While viewers wishing to see the film in 3D can expect to pay a higher ticket price, I strongly recommend the 3D version to truly enjoy the film and the breathtaking achievements in animation..
4 stars out of 5