Monsters vs. Aliens This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The animated adventure “Monsters vs. Aliens” takes the best of the '50s B-movies and rolls it into one. Vibrant colors, imaginative characters, grandiose computer-generated landscapes, massive action ­sequences, funny dialogue, and amazing 3-D triumph over a flimsy plot for an entertaining experience. This movie is fun both for kids with its wacky characters, and for adults with action sequences and jokes that will fly right over tykes' heads. “Monsters vs. Aliens” succeeds in entertaining every audience quadrant.

The film opens in southern California on the wedding day of the endearing Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) to career-obsessed weatherman Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd). As she is about to head into the church, Susan is struck by a meteorite filled with an alien substance called quantonium. Before she can say “I do,” the petite brunette turns into a platinum-blond 49-foot-tall woman. Susan is then captured by the government and taken to a top-secret underground facility that houses monsters.

As Susan struggles to adjust to life there, she and the gang light up when they hear they can earn their freedom – by ­defeating an alien invasion headed by the evil Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson), who is bent on retrieving the quantonium and destroying humanity in the process. Let the monsters ­versus aliens action begin.

Arguably the first major film to connect digital 3-D technology to a massive audience, this is not the 3-D most adults will recall from childhood. As battle rubble flies into the audience and the occasional hand or paddleball pops out of the screen, the technology gives a new depth to every scene. It is ­entrancing. Seeing it on IMAX, the combination of technologies had me captivated as the animated universe seemed to spill off the screen.

The animation is stellar. ­Similar to the style of other ­animated DreamWorks adventures, “Monsters vs. Aliens” is a marked step up in the studio's achievement. This is especially notable in the film's massive fight scenes. Though this story is in the same style as better ­offerings like “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda,” it's still nowhere near Pixar's standard of plot excellence.

Reese Witherspoon's voiceover is charming, the ­versatile Will Arnett is commendable as the overconfident Missing Link, and Hugh Laurie gives the perfect posh British accent to the mad scientist Dr. Cockroach. Seth Rogen sticks to his same old shtick, nailing the lively personality of the brainless B.O.B. Kiefer Sutherland and Steven Colbert steal the show as General W.R. ­Monger and the dim-witted U.S. President Hathaway, ­respectively. Fans of Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Poehler, Renée Zellweger, and John Krasinski will be sad to find that they are nearly unrecognizable and their comedic talents underutilized in the film.

For an enthralling adventure, “Monsters vs. Aliens” proves to be one of the best animated films out there. A must-see in 3-D, and still a delight in 2-D, this brawl is not to be missed.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

GirRox said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm
I love B.O.B and the president was hystarical! :)
 
Vexa_Rave said...
Apr. 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm
i recently saw this movie with my family, and it was very good. even though i'm more into PG-13 action/adventure type stuff, i always love seeing kids movies like this. and i laughed my butt off the whole time, too. B.O.B. was the best part of the movie, in my opinion. XD great review!! ^_^
 
bayleegurl replied...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm
me too i like pg-13 cuz the humor is more mi age group! but this was funny/cute
 
JM said...
Apr. 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm
I usually don't allow my kids to see fighting but I think I'll let them this this one based on this enticing review
 
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