Anthony Saccente is a senior at Wilsonville High School and he serves as the Sports Broadcast Manager for WBN and the Paw Print. He has announced JV and...
Anthomation assesses Monsters vs. Aliens
June 10, 2021
Howdy guys, Anthomaton here. Today I shall review another DreamWorks film: Monsters vs. Aliens.
Monsters vs. Aliens is a 2009 animated film produced by the aforementioned DreamWorks animation. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $381 million worldwide on a $175 million budget. Although not successful enough to be followed by a sequel, the film started a franchise consisting of various tv specials, a short film, and tv show that aired on Nickelodeon.
When a meteor full of space junk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica and confines her to a secret compound with other monsters, like bug-headed Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie). When an extraterrestrial robot lands on Earth and begins a rampage, General W.R. Monger persuades the president to send Ginormica and her fellow monsters to battle the machine and save the planet.
The story is nothing too extraordinary, but does it’s job decently. The plot of a person being turned into a monster and having to save the world has been countless times. And there is not too much variation here. But doesn’t mean the film cannot still be entertaining, right? Eh, kind of. While the battle scenes can be fun to get into, it still does not stand out from any basic action film. So it is hard to remember what you just watched. The worst criticism a film can have from a casual viewer is that the film was forgotten. And here, that criticism applies.
The animation has a DreamWorks feel to it with lots of tracking visuals and attention to detail. It was the studio’s first feature film to be directly produced in a stereoscopic 3D format instead of being converted into 3D after completion. For those who do not know, stereoscopic 3D is the process of adding depth to a still or moving image. And boy does it show up here. There are a countless number of shots where the camera will sweep and track one of heros rolling down the streets of San Francisco or fighting off an alien on a spaceship. For those who like action scenes, it is shot very well. There just is not anything out of the ordinary going on in them, but I have already talked about that. As for the animation, the characters have nice designs. They move around really well and the backgrounds of the city and military detachment are done with a ton of details. Thumbs up for the visuals of the film.
Despite being inoffensive, the characters are pretty bland and do not stand out like other DreamWorks characters of the past. There is Susan Murphy / Ginormica (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a woman from Modesto, California who is hit by a radioactive quantonium meteorite on her wedding day, causing her to mutate and grow into a white haired monster. There’s B.O.B. (voiced by Seth Rogen), an indestructible gelatinous mass created when a genetically altered tomato was injected with a chemically altered ranch dessert topping. There’s Dr. Cockroach (voiced by Hugh Laurie), a brilliant scientist who attempted to imbue himself with the resilience and abilities of a cockroach. There’s Link (voiced by Will Arnett), a 20,000-year-old fish man who was found frozen and thawed out by scientists, only to escape and wreak havoc everywhere. There’s Insectosaurus (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel), formerly a 1 inch grub transformed by nuclear radiation into a 350 feet monster with the ability to shoot silk out of his nose. And then there is Gallaxhar (voiced by Rainn Wilson), an evil alien overlord intent on collecting quantonium to give his cloning machine enough power to generate an army of clones of himself to conquer Earth. The characters are cookie-cutter and just like the story, have a difficult time standing out. Their shticks have been done before and they have enough charm or charisma to separate themselves from the crowd.
If you want to talk about a film that is so average that it does not stand out from the crowd, then this is a movie to point to. With a generic plot and characters and good looking animation, it serves as something you could have no problem watching once, but I don’t think it is worth a second viewing.