Friday, 3 April 2009


IF you enjoyed the action packed and dry humour of Shrek, the eye watering and majestic animation of Walle and the charmingly thought-provoking Toy Story...then fantastic, watch them all again and wipe the fact this animated tinpot story ever found itself onto the big screen.

Monsters Vs Aliens is about as exciting as waiting for Shrek 4 without Donkey. The story centres around Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) who, just before she is to tie the knot to her anchorman boyfriend, Derek gets hit by a meteorite and turns into the 50ft woman.

Of course, she is stunned by helicopters, captured by the army and locked up in a secret government compound where other strange and boring monsters live.

The best of which is B.O.B. (Seth Rogan), a former tomato who has been transformed into a blue jelly-shaped blob after scientists tried to create a ranch dressing-flavour out of him. Ouch!

The rest are not even worth mentioning because their characters are so undefined and unlovable its hard to care what happens to them.

So, where was I? The story. Well just when Susan thinks her life couldn’t get any worse, the world is attacked by aliens and the President of the USA decides to send out the ragtag group in the attempt of beating them, and of course, saving the world.

Brought to the screen by Dreamworks Animation (Shrek, Kung-Fu Panda and Madagascar) and written and directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale), the problem isn’t animation, it’s the plot.

More time seems to have been invested in action scenes and the art of animating buildings and characters rather than the age-old art of storytelling.

In fact one thing Dreamworks have failed to master compared to rival Pixar (Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Walle) is making audiences care about their creations.

The story also fails, unlike Shrek, to appeal to both adults and children and starts to look like a post-it note idea left at the back of Dreamworks creative cupboard for a long, long time.

There are moments of humour, most delivered by Stephen Colbert’s President Hathaway.

Unfortunately, it is not enough to save a story where if the monsters were Pixar and the aliens were Dreamworks, I’m pretty sure I know who I’d be routing for.

Rating: * *

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