Due to the ongoing standoff between the Bollywood Studios and Multiplex Owners, this was an expectedly dry weekend for movie goers, with Monsters vs. Aliens being the only real release of any significance. It’s a fact that has worked a lot to the film’s benefit, as it has seen itself gain an audience that was there out of a lack of choice more than anything else. Having said that, even though it may have had the slight advantage of not having to deal with any competition, it doesn’t mean that the movie doesn’t have some arguments in its favour.
‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ is the latest offering from the fine artists over at DreamWorks Animation, the makers of animated biggies such as last year’s sleeper hit, Kung Fu Panda, and the Shrek & Madagascar series. With a whole slew of celebrity voiceovers lacing the film, including Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen and Keifer Sutherland, Monsters vs. Aliens certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of star power. The animation is top-notch as expected, and when viewed in 3-D, it makes for an awesome watch. However, 3-D is an option not available to most of the general public over here. And, when it comes to 2-D, the onus of the movie watching experience falls on the story and the characters. It is here that Monsters vs. Aliens suffers its biggest drawback.
The movie tells us the story of Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) who, on her wedding day, comes into contact with an alien meteorite and mutates into a giant monster. She is then taken in by the US military to a top secret compound to help deal with an impeding alien invasion. With the help of some fellow monsters and General W.R. Monger (Keifer Sutherland), it is up to our young Californian gal to save the world.
Predictable down to the final showdown, Monsters vs. Aliens is basically a rehash of ideas taken from many movies that fall under the same genre. But let’s face it, you don’t watch an animated film for its screenplay’s thought-provoking aspects. You watch it to have a fun and enjoyable time. So borrowed plotlines would have been perfectly fine, if you got an acceptable number of laughs along the way. Unfortunately, this movie fails to deliver on that front immensely, with only some genuinely funny moments that come few and far between.
The characters, too, are hardly memorable. The protagonist, Susan, is not someone you want to root for, while the rest aren’t given enough screen time for you to really care. They’ve tried to throw in a few pop-culture references, but again, to little or no avail. In the end, the movie turns into a pretty drab affair with no real “Wow” factor that we can associate with other flicks such as ‘Wall-E’, or even ‘The Incredibles’.
Monsters vs. Aliens is a tiring watch, really. If you have absolutely nothing else to do, I’d say go for it. You might not be disappointed. But if you’re going in with any semblance of expectation, don’t say you weren’t warned.