By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks Animation
Monsters vs. Aliens
Monsters vs. Aliens is another animated movie. It's got some funny jokes, a big adventure, fantasy and some good visuals. I'm still probably not going to watch it again no matter how good it looks on Blu Ray.
Review: Monsters vs. Aliens
There's fun to be poked at sci-fi clichés, gender role switching, plain old movie references. They take political jabs at immigration but they also have naked butts.
Bob, the blob character voiced by Seth Rogen, is so sincere it's hilarious. And the greatest political satirist of our time makes a poop joke.
The 3-D offers good perspective, especially from the giant looking down at all the little humans. There are a lot of big, open spaces to show depth and characters at different levels in the background.
It does take a long time to explain the story for a movie that's totally summed up in its title. Here's the origin of the main character, here's this whole world she finds herself in, here's a new situation, the first response that doesn't work and now, finally, we're at monsters versus aliens.
I'm not really invested in the stakes. I guess if they don't take care of the aliens, they'd destroy the world, and I'm in the world, but I never got to know the civilians in a way that makes me worried. The aliens are just the event for which the movie exists.
The personal element is so superficial, it's not even ironic about the personal subplots of sci-fi movies or even animated movies. It's just the obligatory "heart." The underlying point that monsters can't escape their perception has no payoff. It just plays like the standard Disney-esque rag tag family. Instead of a meerkat and warthog, it's a blob and a cockroach.
So it's no classic, but then why do we insist that all animated movies live up to that? Once Disney did some 2D classics, every cartoon had to be The Lion King. After Pixar, we expect everything to be at least Shrek. So by the standards of live-action movies, where things are allowed to be okay, Monsters vs. Aliens is fine.