Monsters vs. Aliens 3D
Out Now On-Demand
A rag tag group of monsters are recruited by the American government to protect Earth against alien invaders, in this DreamWorks animated family film. Featuring the voices of Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Reese Witherspoon, Keifer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson and Hugh Laurie.
Susan (Witherspoon) is about to get married when she gets hit by a meteorite, and turned into a massive giant of a woman. She is taken to a secret government centre where she meets the nation's other captured monsters: B.O.B. (a gelatinous blob voiced by Rogen), Dr. Cockroach phD (a scientist with the head of a cockroach, voiced by Laurie), The Missing Link (an ape-like swamp thing, voiced by Arnett) and skyscraper-sized mutant larvae Insectosaurus. Alien invader Gallaxhar (Wilson) arrives on Earth, wanting to get his mitts on that meteorite. After destroying San Fransisco to get it, the monsters are released to protect mankind. Mayhem ensues.
Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family
Rating: PG contains mild animated violence
Monsters vs. Aliens spins a modern twist on classic horror monsters like the 50-foot woman, the Fly, the Blob, Mothra, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It throws in a little sci-fi inspired by The Day the Earth Stood Still and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to create a high-concept mash-up so suited for mass entertainment that you’d wonder why nobody had thought of it before.
Turns out that someone had thought of it before. Well, kind of. And in borrowing so many elements from elsewhere, MvA never really flies on its own steam. The humour is sloppier than B.O.B.’s gelatinous body, and many of the jokes fall flatter than a pancake-shaped meteor. Likewise, the story is a bit thin. Susan’s self-empowerment trajectory is interesting, but her fellow monsters get short shrift – especially Dr. Cockroach, who barely registers.
What the film lacks in wit and characterisation, however, it makes up for with snazzy visuals. Incredibly detailed computer animation – the glistening skin on The Missing Link or the waves in the San Francisco harbour – looks damn cool in three dimensions, especially when used to create a sense of scale. The sub-orbital climactic battle is overblown – full of explosions and noisy chaos – but the ending promises a sequel. Let’s hope it’s funnier than this one.
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)
Dominion Post (Tom Cardy)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
NZ Herald (Francesca Rudkin)
Total Film (UK)
TV3 (Kate Rodger)