Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)

Rating: **
Review Date: 4/11/09
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Stephen Colbert

Disappointingly mediocre and painfully unfunny. Susan Murphy's (Reese Witherspoon) wedding day goes horribly wrong when she gets struck by a meteorite that makes her grow ten times her normal size. However, her marriage was doomed from the start since her pathetic fiancé (Paul Rudd) is such an egotistical douche bag. The military quickly steps in to neutralize and whisk away the confused and gigantic Susan, and soon finds herself imprisoned in a top secret facility that caters to monsters of all kinds. Just when all hope of ever returning to normal fades away, the Earth is threatened by extraterrestrial robots and General WR Monger decides to unleash his captive monsters as Earth's last defense force. Susan taps into her newly found incredible strength and manages to save the day. Unfortunately, the source of her strength is what the aliens want, and they send in a massive invasion force to capture her. All sorts of craziness ensues and Susan has to make an extremely difficult decision regarding her fate as a monster or a human.

Another in a long and tiresome string of 3D movies that shamefully uses the 3D platform as a gimmick rather than a narrative device. And that pretty much echoes through every other facet of the film, which is extremely blunt and overdone. The humor is forced and unfunny, and the film tries WAY too hard to be both hip and comedic when it is neither. Stephen Colbert's heavy-handed parody of George W. Bush is both untimely and unfunny now that he's out of office, and I would much rather push that entire administration out of my memory as far away as possible than be reminded of it. The animation is pretty and well done, but the character design is uninteresting, and in the case of Susan, unattractive. The model for Susan is freakishly unsettling, as the proportions of her head and face are horrific (and this is coming from someone who is highly acclimated to the exaggerations of Japanese anime). It's like they took all of the aesthetics that make anime appealing and inverted them to be emotionally repulsive. This is not a good quality for the main character of a film to have. The other monsters in the film aren't particularly interesting or endearing and only exist as caricatures for comic relief. The villain (Rainn Wilson) is a silly parody of every other space villain and never seems to pose much of a threat. The one nice thing I can say is that when Susan gets abducted by the villain, her new outfit is extremely cool.