Monsters Vs. Aliens

Rating – **


Dreamworks animation has a patchy track record. For every Shrek I & II or Kung Fu Panda, they churn out bilge like Shark Tale or Madagascar II. This latest effort doesn’t sink to those lows but it still showcases the studio’s most annoying habits. If you find that OTT “wacky” and oh-so-American style of 3D character animation as infuriating as me, do yourself a favour and give this a miss. It’s like everything has been turned up to 11! Next there’s the constant barrage of references to modern US culture. In Kung Fu Panda these were almost entirely left out, resulting in a surprisingly charming character driven story. The problem with MVA? They don’t have a story!

Strip away the impressive “photo-real” visual effects “ooooo look how cool the water looks!” and this is an empty void. A few lazy pop-culture “gags” and some cliché “believe in yourself” morals are rattling around desperately in need of an interesting plot to thread them together. To be fair, Monsters Vs Aliens does what it says on the tin. But somebody clearly took this throw away jokey premise and spent far too much time “developing” it. Characters frequently say stupid things but with a knowing sense of self parody. As a result the world they inhabit doesn’t make any sense. So not only does this film spring forward into the 3rd dimension, it constantly “breaks the fourth wall”…………and I’m pretty sure the plastic glasses I was wearing were only enhancing one of those aspects. Go along purely for the polished visuals and a couple of decent action scenes. The voice work isn’t bad either.

In conclusion, this is a technically impressive but hollow, charmless juggernaut. There’s not a single fresh idea to speak of. Everything this film touches upon has already been done a thousand times better in an average episode of Futurama……….. in fact, just stick with Futurama.


~ by thewholebuffalo on July 19, 2009.

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