Monsters Vs. Aliens

In "Monsters Vs. Aliens", An Attack Of The 49-Foot, 11-Inch Woman In San Francisco
By Omar P.L. Moore/   SHARE
Friday, March 27, 2009

From left: The Missing Link (voiced by Will Arnett), Ginormica/Susan (Reese Witherspoon), Insectosauraus, B.O.B. the blue blob (Seth Rogen), and Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. (Hugh Laurie),
walking the streets of San Francisco in "Monsters Vs. Aliens", the animated adventure in Real 3D and IMAX 3D which opened in North America today.  The film is directed by Rob
Letterman and Conrad Vernon.  (Image courtesy of Dreamworks Animation)

Not only is "Monsters Vs Aliens" fun with a capital F, it's the first animated film of the year that's fun for the entire family.  There's a third F: fantastic, accurately describing Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon's animated adventure, beautiful in Real D 3D, even though the Dreamworks film is just as good in 2D. 

Modesto, California is the American city targeted by a huge meteor, and there's one victim: Susan Murphy (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), and on her wedding day, no less.  About to be married to narcissistic, selfish weatherman Derek Dietl (voiced by Paul Rudd), Susan is splattered by the meteor.  Within moments she has grown several stories high, almost 50 feet (perfect for IMAX 3D, a version in which the film also appears) and is soon kidnapped by the U.S. government.  U.S. Military General W.R. Monger (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) has her renamed Ginormica and enlists her and a motley crew of monsters (B.O.B., Missing Link, Insectosaurus and Dr. Cockroach Ph.D.) to fight against an even larger alien robot, controlled by Gallaxhar (voiced superbly by Rainn Wilson), a multi-eyed alien being looking to recover the quantonium that Susan/Ginormica has inside her.

Before too long, all-out pandemonium breaks out on the streets of San Francisco.  There's even a chase scene there that Steve McQueen would have been proud of.  "Monsters Vs. Aliens" is cheeky in its cinematic endeavors, slyly taging a scene on a famed American landmark with all the vigor and zeal that Alfred Hitchcock did in films like "North By Northwest" (Mount Rushmore) and "Saboteur" (Statue Of Liberty).  No comparison in tone of course, between the British filmmaker who adored San Francisco, and Mr. Letterman and Mr. Vernon, but you know that the two directors of this nifty film love movies and have a great sense of humor, which "Monsters Vs. Aliens" is full of. 

"Monsters Vs. Aliens", which references many films including "Dr. Strangelove", "Godzilla", the Star Wars series, "Attack Of The 50-Foot Woman", is part satire, part sci-fi and all comedy, filled with great voice work from Seth Rogen as B.O.B., a gelatinous blob without a brain who's all heart, Hugh Laurie as Dr. Cockroach, and Stephen Colbert, hilarious as U.S. President Hathaway, who looks a little like could-be U.S. Senator Al Franken.  (Political foreshadowing, perhaps?)  But for all the great voice performances here, it is Mr. Wilson who steals this film as Gallaxhar.  He's having a devil of a time, and so are we.

With the voices of: Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Julie White, Amy Poehler, John Krasinski, Renee Zellweger and many more.  "Monsters Vs. Aliens" is written by the team of Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky, the co-director Rob Letterman, and the team of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and based on a story by Mr. Letterman and Conrad Vernon.

"Monsters Vs. Aliens" is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association Of America for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language.  The film's duration is one hour and 34 minutes.


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