I was going to start this review off by talking about how tough it is to review a movie that’s technically brilliant but bland as heck then I was going to go into this whole rant about how I’m not a snob, but in reality I am, but I’m poor so I have to keep my natural snobbishness in check. With that said, as a general rule, I don’t like most American animated films. I don’t like most of the stuff from Pixar, Dreamworks, etc. I understand the technical wizardry involved in creating the material, appreciate the story and directing quality but I always find the facial features to be too perfect, plastic, and the reliance on Hollywood Star voices distracting (except Shrek where it works). Now this new emphasis on 3D animation, I just don’t know. I loved and connected with Coraline because the 3D really sucked me into the story. In Monsters Vs. Aliens 3D, it had the opposite effect. I kept thinking, this is kind of cool, but is it really adding anything to the story? The answer is no and it was a bit distracting.
When I really have nothing say about a movie, this is the point where I would trot out my standard formula of giving you the tedious plot summary (TPS). I could tell you that it’s actually a good little chick flick (not a bad thing), disguised as a animated action film. How the story is about a woman named Susan Murphy/Ginormica (Reese Witherspoon) who is minutes from marrying her dream guy a small market weatherman when she’s hit by a Meteor that causes her to grow 50ft tall, she’s then captured and taken to a secret government facility where she meets her fellow monsters – a blob (Seth Rogen), a mad scientist cockroach (Hugh Laurie), The Missing Link – a fish man (Will Arnett) and a giant fury animal creature that’s even taller than Susan, Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson). The first part of this film is actually pretty depressing because it shows how poorly the Government is treating these “Monsters.” When the Aliens finally attack, I wanted the Monsters to join them.
The voice acting felt really forced and not natural at all. Or maybe it’s the opposite; that it was all so neutral that there didn’t seem to be any real emotion coming from the voices. I thought Reese was really bland and dry throughout most of the film – which is bad because the entire film hinges on her performance, she sounds bored. While the cast is good mix of A and B list actors none of them have real distinctive voices like an Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock or Billy Crystal so it wasn’t as distracting as it usually is. I didn’t even recognize Kiefer Southerland as (General W.R. Monger) and I almost always know his voice. Dammit.
It was weird seeing this movie the very first day I moved to Fl, I came out of the theater not knowing where I was and feeling a bit disoriented for a few minutes. The one thing 3D does, is you really do pay attention to everything on the screen I wasn’t watch checking at all. Hollywood is going overboard with animated films this year and it’s going to wear thin really quick. Monsters Vs. Alien isn’t a bad movie it’s just too generic to really get excited about.
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Originally Posted 3.29.09