Let me begin by saying "It's hard to hate this movie, but they made it so easy not to like it". Yeah, I know it makes little to no sense but I kind of like the way it sounds. Monsters vs. Aliens is the first Dreamworks Animated movie I've seen since "Flushed Away" and I only agreed to see that movie due to Ardmin Animation's involvement with the film. Why am I so down on Dreamworks Animation you may be asking yourself? One Word .... One Unholy, Fowl, disgusting, gut retching, fecal matter encrusted word. . . "Shrek". The one movie that drove me to become a CGI hating Animation Snob. Not to say that all CGI Animation is not up to my unreasonably high standards, just take a
Before I go on let me explain what I liked about this film. First off the concept is wonderful! B-movie Horror monsters modeled from the films of the 1950's are put together in a superhero style team and are expected to battle an alien invasion. The monsters include . . .
- Dr. Cockroach based off "The Fly"
- B.O.B., based off "The Blob"
- The missing Link losely based off "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"
- Susan a.k.a. Ginormica based off "Attack of the 50ft. Woman"
- Insectosaurus bassed off any giant monster movie but with specific similarities to "Mothra".
I only wish the movie had been set in the 1950's as well.
However the greatest part of this movie (for me) is Susan's Character, a young woman who has a normal life one minute, grows 50 ft., and is suddenly considered a monster. I love how the film plays with the sense of scale. For example when Susan meet's the other monsters, we (the audience) also meet them from her point of view making them appear tiny, however they are all human sized. Throughout the rest of the film various sets and situations make you visually forget that Susan is indeed a giantess, whether she's using a truck stop as a bench or cars for roller skates, suddenly she's being crushed by the enormous hand of a giant robot and all of sudden she seems normal sized. Again this probably doesn’t impress anyone but me, but do I love it!
And then the best part of the entire movie is Susan's Growth Scene, if you haven't seen it yet go ahead it's right here! Watch it!
Snootch! That's Awesome! The psychological thoughts that must be running through her head as her entire world is taken away form her and Good Gravy!!! That is one ridiculously stretchy Wedding Dress! What is this, a kid's movie!? Oh yeah, right. Sorry. If you haven't figured it out by now, yes I am a freak, and even though I would of preferred Susan to lose a height instead of gain it, I have to admit that this is easily one of the best female transformation sequences to come around in a very long time. Does anyone else find it sexy when she exclaims "help me"? No. Just me. O.K., I'll drop it.
So why do I dislike this film even though it has so much to offer?
Well for starters the story feels as if it were rewritten 20 times each time adding more and more useless jokes and gags. Also someone felt the need to cram dozens of pop cultural references that fit poorly, aren't funny, and make the story screech to a screaming halt while the audience feels awkward and extremely uncomfortably. For example when the President attempts to communicate to the aliens with the keyboard notes from "Close encounters of the Third Kind" you have a potentially funny moment, however any humor is sucked dry and shriveled dead as the gag extends into an awkward dance scene accompanied by the irritating "Beverly Hills Cop" theme. Why? It's almost like the film is departing away from the story in an attempt to get a cheap laugh out of children. Oh wait, it's that thing that I just said. I would forgive the film if it only happened once but No!! they keep throwing more of the same at you. Another irritating scene involves Dr. Cockroach whom for the last 50 years has been locked away in "monster jail", has never been to an arcade, and only knows mad scientist things. Suddenly we are expected to believe that he is an expert at "Dance Dance Revolution" and not only that but this DDR machine controls and alien space craft!!! And said scene lasts ridiculously long!!! Agrnym!!!!!!!!! Oh sorry, I'm ranting again.
Let me wrap this up ...
Some of the dialogue seems forced and un-natural.
The celebrity voices are not playing characters, just theme selves. (i.e. Seth Rogan as Seth Rogan)
And over Advertising!!! The kids would shout out dialogue before it was said on screen due to the constant on TV advertising. Worse yet they used some of their funnier stuff in the ad campaigns so when you see it on the screen it seems weak and over used. Blah!
So in the end Dreamworks takes a wonderful idea, presents it nicely, and rubs their stink all over it!! I want to love it, I should of loved it, only sort a liked it.
2 and half Slinus heads!