When Susan Murphy is unexpectedly clobbered by a meteor full of outer space gunk, she mysteriously grows to 49-feet-11-inches tall and is instantly labeled a ?Monster? named Ginormica. The military jumps into action, and s... more »he is captured and held in a secret government compound filled with other ?monsters? like herself. This ragtag group consists of the brilliant but insect-headed Dr. Cockroach, P.H.D.; the macho half-Ape-half-fish The Missing Link; the gelatinous and indestructible B.O.B.; and the 350-foot grub called Insectosaurus. Their confinement time is cut short however, when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and the motley crew of Monsters is called into action to save the world from imminent destruction.« less
Marcy N. (mrae11) from RIVERSIDE, CA Reviewed on 3/17/2011...
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rebecca V. from JOLIET, IL Reviewed on 10/25/2010...
1 of 11 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lewis P. (Turfseer) from NEW YORK, NY Reviewed on 10/24/2010...
Mildly entertaining but flat animated sci-fi comedy
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Monsters vs Aliens had the potential to become a Sci-Fi comedy classic along the lines of a 'Coneheads' or 'Galaxy Quest' but didn't quite make it. There were a few scenes that really hit the mark however, due to the satirical content. My favorite scene was President Hathaway (voiced by Stephen Colbert) trying to make personal contact with the alien robot. The President is depicted as sort of a twisted Madison Avenue Ad exec type from the 60s surrounded by prototypical yes men. First he plays the theme from 'Close Encounters' on a DX7 Yamaha synth and then breaks into Axel F, the theme from the 1984 Beverly Hills Cop movie (the anachronisms just seemed to jell perfectly). When the robot makes it clear that he's not interested in 'peaceful co-existence', President Hathaway just manages to escape with his life. The president's transition from feckless appeaser to impulsive warmonger in a matter of a few minutes is priceless!
The film's inciting incident draws you in at first. That's where Susan is infected by the meteorite and is transformed into a giant monster on her wedding day. We break into the 'second act' when Susan is transported to the secret government facility where she's imprisoned with other monsters who have been captured over the last fifty years. I just couldn't understand how the secret government monster unit could have so easily muzzled all the guests at the wedding who were witnesses to Susan's amazing transformation. And that especially includes Derek, Susan's social-climbing TV anchor boyfriend, who would have been first in line to promote the media scoop.
I was further disappointed when we soon learn that the government has 'collected' a total of only four monsters (not including the newly minted Susan, now dubbed 'Ginormica') over the past five decades. And it seemed crazy that such an enormous facility was needed to house such a limited collection (I guess that was the joke—the government was so paranoid about the monsters escaping that they built such a giant facility despite the fact that their prisoners were a completely sorry and ineffectual bunch). The bottom line is that it would have been much more fun if there were more monsters released to combat the invading aliens. The film's scenarists could have worked the additional monsters in without taking away from the principals (the other monsters could have been designated as less intelligent and unable to speak—at the same time, their ineptitude could have been highlighted through various visual scenes without the need for dialogue).
The monsters of 'Monsters vs Aliens' seem to be created in order to emulate Dorothy's allies in 'The Wizard of Oz'. Susan (having been separated from her family and propelled into a new world) can be likened to Dorothy. Then there's Dr. Cockroach as the brainy Scarecrow, The Missing Link as the Tin Man without a heart and BOB equivalent to the cowardly lion (since this is a comedy, BOB's 'cowardice' is due to stupidity rather than a lack of nerve). And Insectosaurus, the lovable moth, functions as a sort of Toto character, beloved by the protagonist and her allies.
I found the Monsters to be a rather unfunny lot. There wasn't much difference between the Dr. Cockroach character and the principal villain, Gallaxhar (both had that maniacal laugh). And what about the 'Missing Link'? I guess he was supposed to be some sort of Loch Ness Monster but there was nothing distinctive about his comic persona. BOB, the gelatinous mass, who couldn't think straight, was perhaps the most amusing of the motley trio. The bit about him falling in love with the jello mold was one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie.
As the Monster vs Alien's plot develops, it becomes obvious that the vapid Susan, who defines herself in relation to the obnoxious Derek, finally gains confidence and is no longer dependent on men to go forward in life. That's her 'internal arc' and I had no problem with the way the story was going in that regard. But the 'external arc' of the story was underdeveloped and derivative. Take for example when Susan first stops the alien robot (but must destroy the Golden Gate Bridge in the process). Although the city of San Francisco had been evacuated, I would have thought that the battle with the alien robot would still have been covered by the news media. The film's screenwriters missed a big opportunity to depict Susan as the new hero and media darling after destroying the alien robot. And for awhile, it would have been nice to see Susan distracted by fame and seduced by the culture of celebrity.
Finally, Gallaxhar and his spaceship, seemed to be like a cheap imitation of the brilliant Coneheads. Contrast the sharp, satirical portraits of various narcissistic characters in the Coneheads with Gallaxhar —reminiscent of the mustachioed villain of 19th century melodrama.
Monsters vs Aliens has quite a bit of very neat animation along with a positive message of self-empowerment. But by the film's end, it becomes too much like the kind of films it seeks to satirize. Yes, another 'mother ship' blows up after being set on 'auto-destruct', thanks to the heroic efforts of a group of motley but lovable losers. 'Monsters' has its moments but it's not consistently funny enough to be ranked as one of the better comic animations.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michelle S. (Chelly10s) from W HOLLYWOOD, CA Reviewed on 4/28/2010...
I stumbled on this movie with no intentions of watching the whole thing really. I couldn't tear myself away! It was adorable and so funny! And the cast is stellar. The story is so cute and I think there is something in it for kids of all ages.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
KAT O. Reviewed on 12/29/2009...
WOW THE COVER DOES NOT DO IT JUSTICE THE GRAPHICS ARE TOP NOTCH WOW!!!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Monsters Vs. Aliens- Better Than I Thought
Ellen R. Fissel | South Mountain, PA USA | 03/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I went to see Monsters Vs. Aliens, and to my surprise I was really entertained by the movie and its characters. I will not spoil the story for all of you that have not seen it yet. But I will tell you a little about the story and the characters.
The main character of the movie is a girl named Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon). She is about to get married, when she is suddenly hit by a meteor. She begins to grow in size, finally reaching a height of 49 feet 11 inches. She is captured by the U.S. Army and transported to a secret goverment base. She is given the name Ginormica.
The dumbest monster of the group is B.O.B. (Seth Rogen) He is very funny and very dumb, which makes him a very amusing character. He is often saying stupid things at the wrong time (which makes him very funny).
The smartest one of the group is none other than Dr. Cockroach, Ph. D. (Hugh Laurie). He is very useful in their battles against the evil alien villian Gallaxar (Rainn Wilson). He has a nasty appetite for garbage. He was a man who experimented on himself with a machine, giving him the appearence and ability of a cockroach.
One of the coolest monsters among the group is The Missing Link (Will Arnett). He acts like a jock out of his prime, even though he is over 20,000 years old. He is actually very entertaining and funny. He is the best friend of the next character.
Insectosaurus is a giant 300 foot tall fuzzy larva. He is basically a parody of Mothra mostly, with a hint of Godzilla as well. Insectosaurus' best friend is the Missing Link, but the giant is willing to put its life on the line to protect his friends, especially Susan. Another great character of the team.
The plot of Monsters Vs. Aliens is predictable, but the movie makes up for it my being very funny and action packed! It is a great family movie and will entertain all ages. So, if you are looking for an entertaing treat of a movie, then go see Monsters Vs. Aliens.
P.S., If you are a Godzilla fan, go see this movie. Insectosaurus does something that might intrest all of you Mothra fans out there. Anyways, Monsters Vs. Aliens is a good movie. Go see it and enjoy the show.
Amanda Richards | Georgetown, Guyana | 04/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"News Reporter: "Once again, a UFO has landed in America, the only country UFOs ever seem to land in."
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. Star studded cast lights up the screen (or at least their voices do) in a funny and action-packed computer-animated film from Dreamworks. 2. Reese Witherspoon is Susan Murphy, a sweet home Modesto girl who doesn't realize her true worth until she gets hit by a meteor. . . 3. . . . on her wedding day 4. The casting people outdo themselves with Seth Rogen as a brainless blob, Hugh Laurie as a mad doctor with the ethics of a cockroach, Rainn Wilson as an evil alien and Stephen Colbert as the President of the United States. 5. Think of a bigger, better Mars Attacks! and Spaceballs.
When an evil alien targets Earth as a source of "quantonium", the Government has only one option, and that is to call out the monsters under the command and supervision of General W. R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland).
General W.R. Monger: "This place is an X-file wrapped in a cover-up and deep-fried in a government conspiracy."
Other star vocal talent includes Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Tambor, Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski, among others.
The plot itself may not be a classic, but the animation and casting make it a movie you'll want to have in your collection.
Recommended, naturally, for fans of superior computer animation, monsters and aliens.
The President of the United States: "Boys, set the terror level at code brown, 'cause I need to change my pants."
Amanda Richards, April 19, 2009
Monsters vs aliens
A. Szarka | Hawaii | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't listen to anyone who gave this movie a under 4 star review. They clearly have not seen enough movies to know what a bad movie is. Anyway, this movie was really funny. A person in a great deep depression would end up laughing and being happy by the end. I loved bob, The American president and everyone else. The voice overs were good and everything was as real as it could get. This movie is for people of all ages."
DreamWorks may have a good thing going here.
Underground Reborn | ny | 10/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
Dreamworks is having a very hard time trying to keep up the genuine perfection of PIXAR. Since these guys probably believe they never will surpass them the next best thing is to just make fun of them and everything else. So because of that mentality we get the latest DreamWorks film Monsters VS. Aliens.
MvA is the story of a young woman named Susan ready to take the next step in her life and marry the man of her dreams. Suddenly she is exposed to a meteor and starts to become a `big' problem. Now she is government property, has made a bunch of interesting new friends and is now part of a team that has been assembled to take down threats that the average man may not be able to handle. Her first mission, stop an alien invasion! Not too bad for the next step in Susan's life.
Monsters VS Aliens is a laugh out loud comedy that really appeals to a very diverse audience. There are numerous references to Sci-Fi pop culture and of course the Monsters in the movie pay tribute to all the classic B horror films of the 1950 until today. Some of those examples include, `The Creature of the Black Lagoon', `The Blob' and The `Attack of the 50 Foot Woman'. The cast is fantastic and of course we all knew that Seth Rogan would steal the show as he always does. Some of the other cast members include Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie and believe it or not a whole new side of Keifer Sutherland. What I loved about this movie was the fact that Stephen Colbert played the president and probably delivered the best line in the whole movie. I applaud `Monsters VS Aliens' for its original tribute to the Sci-Fi parody and it is definitely one of the few DreamWorks films that is very much worth the money. Since `Shrek' there really hasn't been a truly great DreamWorks animation film. (This is not including anything made by the Aardmen Studios). I have to say I am very excited for future DreamWorks parody projects. The two known ones on the horizon are `How To Train Your Dragon' which is a take on fantasy stories and `Oobermind' which is a take on Superheroes and comic books. Let's see what happens. "
The irony of one dimensional characters in 3D.
lighten_up_already2 | Kirkland, WA USA | 10/26/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Well, if you like to see things blow up and some likeable and very shallow characters spout gags that are sort of funny, this is the movie for you. I really wanted to like it, but in the end it was just a lot of eye candy that was the intellectual equivalent of eating all the icing off a cake and finding there was no cake to begin with.
By the way, anyone notice that BOB and the alien probe robot are basically the same thing? Same shape, eyeball, and all sorts of appendages that appear on demand. One is goop and one is metal.
To be fair, there was some rather cool effects shots in this movie, and I'm sure that in some areas the creators pushed this 3D animation technology further than ever. In fact, I enjoyed the "making of" type documentaries more than the movie. Want to make animation like this? Well, they reveal exactly what workstations and software they used, which is more than I can say for most of the "making of" documentaries that come with 3D animation movies.
The irony is that during the "making of" documentary someone brags that this movie took 40 million hours of render time, and the original Shrek took only five million, and then I thought to myself, "Yeah, but the original Shrek is a classic, and this just ain't." I'll bet the original Toy Story took even less render time! You see, there are movies that go for the heart, and there are movies that go for the eye. Toy Story, Shrek, Up, and Kung Fu Panda are examples of the former, and this an example of the latter."