Monday, April 20, 2009

“Monsters vs. Aliens” Title Fight Overshadowed by “3D vs. Plot” Match

Monsters vs. Aliens

They say that you never forget your first time. It is a little awkward at begin, at times uncomfortable, but eventually you get the rhythm of it. Despite all the anticipation and excitement in the build up, you are surprised to find that it is over before you know it. While you can take solace in the fact that everyone seems to be doing it nowadays, you cannot help but feel a little unsatisfied. Of course I am talking about the world of 3D movies, which seems to have taking Hollywood by storm of late. I finally took in my first ever 3D movie, Monsters vs. Aliens, this past weekend.

Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is about to walk down the aisle with the man of her dreams, Derek (Paul Rudd). Before Susan can even get to the “I do’s” she is struck by a radioactive asteroid. Within minutes Susan starts to grow at an extraordinary rate. Seeing the possibilities of a 50 foot woman as an asset the military swoops in and locks Susan away in a top secret facility. Led by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland), Susan is recruited into the “Monster” division where she if forced to work alongside an interesting cast of characters. There is Dr. Cockroach Ph.D (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist who accidentally turned himself into a half-man/half –cockroach; The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a lizardman from the Black Lagoon; B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a brainless gelatinous mass, and a 40 foot Insectosaurus. When the evil alien, Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), starts to cause havoc on earth, The President’s (Stephen Colbert) last hope is for this ragtag group of monsters to save the day.

Despite watching the movie in IMAX 3D, the crisp animation and the stunning 3D effects could not mask a huge flaw with the film…the story. The lack of any real plot started to bother me halfway through. Also, for a film that boasted such great 3D visuals, the characters were surprisingly one-dimensional (in terms of the script). It is pretty telling when Derek is given more back-story than the main villain in the film. A few characters, such as the giant-fuzzy insect, seemed like they were in the film for no other purpose then to have extra toys to sell. Which is a shame as the directors could have given the immensely talented ensemble cast a lot more to work with. The only characters that really stood out for me were Dr. Cockroach, B.O.B., and President Hathaway. While the 3D effects are the main reasons to see Monsters vs. Aliens, the lack of substance will ultimately leave you feeling unsatisfied.

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