Monsters vs. Aliens Review
Monsters vs. Aliens is a 2009 science fiction animated comedy film from DreamWorks Animation. It is one of the lesser films from the studio that is more frustrating than enjoyable to watch.
Susan Murphy is on her wedding day struck by a meteorite and suddenly grows exponentially in height. She is taken by the government along with the other monsters and eventually they together have to fight an alien invasion. This is such an unoriginal mix of different ideas that is pretty uninspired in terms of storytelling. I did like some parts of it, mainly the feminist overtones with the main character and her relationship with Derek was interesting, but the story is mostly too typical and too straightforward with not a bit of originality or memorable moments.
Susan is an interesting character. On the one hand, she was rather annoying to me and even a bit clichéd, but she still proved herself in the end and is a pretty strong female character. As for the other monster characters, I did like B.O.B. and he was pretty funny and likable and Link was pretty good as well. But Insecto did not get much to do here and Dr. Cockroach is a typical mad scientist creation. Gallaxhar is also a cliched alien character that is too over-the-top, but President Hathaway is really funny and Derek is a one-note, but realistic character and the relationship between Susan and him is well realized.
The acting is really good. Reese Witherspoon admittedly did a good job, but her voice is not that suited for the field of animation and her constant screaming got on my nerves. But Seth Rogen did an excellent job and Hugh Laurie is also pretty good. Stephen Colbert is great as is Paul Rudd. This is once again an annoying celebrity voice cast, but all of the actors did a nice job nonetheless.
The animation is solid, but not amazing. It is colorful and looks good, but the character design is just so uninspired that I did not enjoy it at all. The cosmos and ship sequences look good, but the Earth scenes not so much and the animation is never particularly memorable or inspired. It looks good and is serviceable, but is a forgettable DreamWorks product nevertheless.
There are many things that annoyed me in Monsters vs. Aliens. The action in particular was not just so overwhelming, but also never particularly well executed or that intriguing. It just all blends into a forgettable and annoying mess. And the movie is rarely honestly entertaining which is a problematic fact for an animated flick. There is just too much noise on the screen for most of its running time.
But the humor on the other hand is quite good and I did enjoy it and laughed from time to time. Some characters like the president and B.O.B. were particularly funny, but also some of the sci-fi references were fun, although too on-the-nose. The movie is funny at times and that is its biggest strength. And the references of other movies do get in the way, but not that often as it is handled better than in ‘Madagascar‘, for instance.
It is one of the lesser works for DreamWorks and on the bottom of the list. It is definitely better than ‘Shrek the Third’, but is still lacking and is so frustrating and annoying with its difficult fast pacing and overwhelming action that it isn’t much higher on the list.
The imagery is typical as are its effects and animation. It is never a bit original and is just steals and blends too many other ideas into an incoherent whole. The sci-fi elements and the comedy elements are solid, but the action is mediocre and the tone is not deft at all. The dialogue is certainly too on-the-nose and the message and execution are familiar. And it isn’t as emotional as the material evidently needed. The pacing is bad and too quick and just so nauseating and the humor and acting are its biggest strengths. The beginning is quite good and the ending is sweet, but the whole middle part is so bland and unsatisfactory and such a boring journey to be honest. As for its score, it is not memorable and the sound is too loud. And the whole flick is so forgettable and so uneven and incoherent that it is evident from every scene.
Monsters vs. Aliens has some solid characters, fine acting and the humor is pretty good, but the action is so bland and overwhelming, some characters are annoying, the plot is uninspired and boring and the whole film is too fast paced and too annoying to be enjoyed more. It has its moments, but it is mostly such a forgettable experience and a middling effort for DreamWorks Animation.
My Rating – 2.5
Interior & Exterior Stills from Monsters vs. Aliens
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