The StorySusan (Witherspoon) is ready to say I do to her narcissistic weatherman fiancé when out of the clear blue sky falls a meteorite. Despite the fact she's dressed in her wedding gown, Susan trudges down the hill to get a closer look. But getting up close and personal with a meteorite on your wedding day is never a good idea. The substance contained inside the meteorite causes her to mutate into a 47 foot tall woman at the most inopportune time (as she's poised to exchange vows with her creepy husband-to-be).
But when Earth is threatened by first a robot from outer space and then a squidish alien who calls himself Gallaxhar (voiced by Rainn Wilson), the caretaker to the monsters, General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland), suggests letting the monsters free to take on the aliens. And so the battle begins as Ginormica, the gelatinous one-eyed blob known as B.O.B., Dr Cockroach, a Swamp Thing look-alike called The Missing Link, and the gigantic insect labeled Insectosaurus are the people of Earth's only hope. And yes, there's a lesson in there about how it's okay to be different.
The Voice CastSeth Rogen sounds like Seth Rogen which isn't a bad thing - as B.O.B., a blob with a tiny brain who falls hard for a jello dessert. Hugh Laurie plays doctor once again as an overgrown cockroach whose mad cackle sends shivers down Ginormica's ginormous spine. And Will Arnett gamely gets into the character of an amphibious creature who thinks too highly of himself and of his fighting skills. Reese Witherspoon, tackling her first animated feature film role, starts out playing Susan with a perky voice and a bounce in her animated step before transitioning into Ginormica's much more authoritative voice. Witherspoon's warmth comes through, and Susan/Ginormica springs to life thanks to her engaging, energetic delivery.
The Bottom LineMonsters vs Aliens is a step backwards in storytelling, compared to the studio's own Shrek film franchise or any Pixar production. Where Pixar excels is in delivering a compelling, entertaining plot along with fantastic visuals and humor. Monsters vs Aliens left out the entertaining plot and jumped straight to trying to impress with its 3-D action.
There are some fun moments in Monsters vs Aliens, but they are too few and too far in between to make Monsters vs Aliens a must-see (in 3-D or in 2-D). That's not to say youngsters won't laugh and squeal over this animated family-friendly film. There's enough action and enough cool-looking characters to check out to keep the under 12 crowd interested throughout the short running time. But adults are going to get fidgety waiting for Monsters vs Aliens to wind to a close. Pixar's set the bar high and DreamWorks Animations' Monsters vs Aliens doesn't come close to being able to leap over it.
Monsters vs Aliens was directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon and is rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language.
Theatrical Release Date: March 27, 2009