Reese Witherspoon may get top billing in Monsters vs. Aliens, but the real star here is the snazzy InTru 3-D technology. This goes way beyond random objects flying straight at your eyeballs. The state-of-the-art animation, best seen on a giant IMAX screen, immerses the audience in the film, making them feel like they’re part of the action.
Fancy-schmancy special effects don’t mean much when the plot stinks. Fortunately, Monsters vs. Aliens does not stink. It’s one of those kid flicks where the story appeals to young and old on different, but equally entertaining, levels. The whippersnappers will love the adorable characters, while the adults will appreciate the witty pop culture references, including nods to classic creature features such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET and Godzilla.
Witherspoon plays Susan Murphy, who is clobbered by a meteor on her wedding day and turns into Ginormica, basically a 50-foot tall Barbie doll. She’s captured by the government and thrown into a secret compound with other scary Monsters, including B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a big blue blob made from a genetically-altered tomato and ranch dressing, Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. (Hugh Laurie), and The Missing Link (Will Arnett). But when a mysterious alien-robot lands in San Francisco, the President (Stephen Colbert) enlists the motley crew to save the world.
Sure, the movie’s got a nice message about girl power and how awesome it is to be different. But more importantly, it’s high-larious (that’s a pun on Ginormica…oh, never mind). Rogen’s slacker B.O.B. steals the show with his loveable yet dimwitted one-liners and Colbert’s narcissistic, incompetent commander-in-chief reminds us of an era we’d soon like to forget.
Monsters vs. Aliens is the first in a slew of 3-D movies coming to theaters this year, and it sets the bar high.
I’d give it 3 Radars.
(Image: Paramount Pictures)