Thursday, April 16, 2009

Monsters vs Aliens

I love CG animated movies. Ever since Toy Story I've been a big fan of these types of films and, as far as I remember, I've never seen a bad one. Sure, some are better than others, but all of them have been generally amusing. Monsters vs Aliens, by the people that brought you Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, is another hit though perhaps not quite as successful as their previous animated offerings.

The film starts on the wedding day of Susan - a normal, ordinary woman – who is about to be married to a smarmy ambitious TV weatherman. Unfortunately, just before the ceremony, she's hit by a quantonium-imbued meteorite that turns her into Ginormica, a (nearly) 50 foot tall, incredibly strong woman.

Susan is quickly captured by the government and taken to a top secret, Area-51 like, base where monsters, collected over the years by General W. R. Monger, are kept. There Susan meets a host of creatures seemingly taken straight out of old 50s B-movies. There's a character who's a mix of the "Creature of the Black Lagoon" and "Sasquatch" called the Missing Link, an indestructible Blob type monster called B.O.B, a half-man/half-insect mad-scientist called Dr Cockroach and Insectosaurus, who's an insect version of Godzilla.

When a huge alien robot is sent to Earth to retrieve the quantonium energy that turned Susan into Ginormica, General Monger decides to send in the monsters to take on the alien threat. Hence, the title of the film! From there the film follows Susan as she learns to accept her monstrous attributes whilst rejecting her fiance, who's more interested in his career than her.

It's a good film - very witty and action-packed - though it helps if you're a fan of old B-movies. B.O.B, the gelatinous blob, was my favourite of the bunch due to his bubbling, brainless antics. Plus I love the way he looks. The humour is subtler than that of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda and I don't think I laughed as much at MvA as I did at those other movies. I also preferred the martial arts action sequences of Kung Fu Panda than the fighting here but then that may just be me.

Overall an enjoyable, retro-feeling film but not one of the best of this type. I think I may have been expecting more from this. Still, my seven-year-old daughter really liked it and I think it was the first film seen at the cinema where she didn't cry or get overly frightened. So, I'm going to give Monsters vs Aliens a Fine grading.

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