This is the first DreamWorks rendered picture I've actually wanted to see. For me, Pixar kicks DreamWorks' butt to high heaven in terms of quality, storyline, art, and music (think of the underwater scenes in finding nemo- those never cease to blow me away) but Monsters vs. Aliens was enjoyable. I don't consider it a waste of my 9 bucks.
Premise of the movie: The title says it all, but to give you a bit of detail, Susan Murphy (voiced by the adorable Reese Witherspoon) is pondering pre-wedding thoughts when a giant meteor smashes into the ground next to her (or on top of her!). During her marriage vows, she suddenly glows- and grows into a giant woman. Captured by the government, she is introduced to a group of other... odd creatures and is doomed to be imprisoned forever as a menace to society. that is, until aliens threaten the planet. The government's only hope of saving themselves is to unleash the unusual talents of these strange monsters and hope for the best.
- Dr. Cockroach, voiced by the highly talented Hugh Laurie of House MD fame (yes, that's him!), is of course the token mad scientist-turned-monster-by-experiments. Laurie gives him that usual british-accented polish that we've associated with college professors, and he remains a constant source of levelheadedness throughout the movie as the monster teams' leader and advisor (as far as actually having one goes)- which is ironic seeing as how he's the one who's supposed to be insane! He does have his moments, however (driving like a nut down the streets of the city with a rocketed trolley, experimenting on Susan, getting chomped by alien robots) and overall his character is pretty solidly rounded out. It does lack a sense of individuality, however- he's funny and charming, but will pass out of your thoughts if he's not in the next scene. Also: if you hate or are terrified of roaches, you might not want to look at him too much.
- B.O.B. (short for Bicarbonate Ostylezene Benzonate), voiced by comedian Seth Rogan, was my absolute favorite and to me, the saving grace for the humor in the movie. Rogan's voice is perfect for the role- he completely (excuse the pun) oozes with adorable personality. a gelantinous one-eyed monster made by a freak accident in a food factory involving ranch dressing and a tomato, B.O.B. is the monster that keeps you smiling throughout the movie with all his thoughtless antics and ridiculous comments (on the subject of brains: "turns out, you don't need one!"). The crowning glory to all his moments are the expressions dreamworks was able to incorporate- if what he says doesn't get to you, his expressions will. His best moments throughout the movie include hitting on a molded jello during a party ("i think that jello gave me a fake phone number"), spitting up people, and... being absolutely useless at critical times.
- The Missing Link / Insectosaurus: voiced by Will Arnett and Conrad Vernon, respectively, these two fall into more minor roles in the movie. The Missing Link, a half-fish half-man sort of monster, displays the personality of a typical big tough guy- but is sorely out of shape to be fighting like a superhero. Think "creature from the black lagoon" and that's him. He actually doesn't do much at ALL throughout the movie, but he does display a sense of self-sacrifice for others (there's a scene where he saves susan) and is the only one who can understand what insectosaurus is saying. Insectosaurus, in turn, has an even smaller role throughout the movie as a giant grub-like creature who is mesmerized by bright lights and can shoot webbing out of it's nose. He has one gallant moment throughout the entire movie where he attempts to save susan from being kidnapped and gets hurt instead. otherwise, these two characters are more or less forgettable.
- Susan Murphy (Ginormica) is the real big main character in this movie. The movie circles around her the most- her relationship with her new monster friends, adjusting to being over 40 feet tall, her gradual change from meek, shy young woman into superhero. Reese Witherspoon lends a sense of "aww, she's so cute even when she's enormous" with her voicing of susan, and pulls the audience into rooting for her as she searches for a way to either go back to what she was or accept her new status in life. It can teeter on the edge of "okay, that's enough complaining!" but for the most part it never crosses into that danger zone. Susan's big moments include the battle with Gallaxhar, her first meeting with the monsters, and her fight with the giant alien robot. and seriously? DreamWorks simply made her look really cute.
Other minor characters include Stephen Colbert as the President of the United States, Kiefer Sutherland as the military general head, and Rainn Wilson as Gallaxhar. Their roles are very small and i don't think are even worth really going over. Colbert makes a good effort to be a dumbass, but comes across more as tiresome than funny. edit: okay okay, on second thought, it may have really been the writers of DreamWorks who made the president's role kind of annoying. I like Stephen Colbert, okay? He does have one hilarious moment at the beginning of the movie- if you've seen "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" you'll instantly recognize it.
Other things i noticed: geeky and slight adult humor (they actually say "oh em gee" and "boobies!" in the movie, amongst some other things including parodies from really old sci-fi movies) and Susan constantly getting put into other clothes while she's unconscious... by males. was that a subtle move or what? The storyline is honestly pretty typical and shallow- the only thing that differentiates it from any other one is by looking at it from Susan's viewpoint.
Overall, i give this movie a B+. i did enjoy it.
Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monsters-vs-...7105661&sr=1-1