CAST (VOICES OF)
MONSTERS vs ALIENS (2009)
Dreamworks ups the ante against animation rival Pixar, with a declaration of 3D dominance in Monsters vs. Aliens, where impressive visuals are backed by a solid story and fun characters.
Outside of its bombastic imagery, first impressions fall upon the strong ensemble of voice talent, led by Reese Witherspoon. She stars as small town girl Susan, who on the day of her marriage to jerk local TV anchorman (Paul Rudd), is hit by a meteorite and transformed into a 50 foot woman.
Promptly captured and placed into military confinement, Susan is introduced to her new monster cellmates: The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a hulky fish-man; B.O.B. (scene stealing Seth Rogen), a defunct experimental desert; mad scientist turned man-bug, Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie); and Insectosaurus (co-director Conrad Vernon), a 350 foot nuclear infected grub.
When an alien invader named Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) attempts to take over planet Earth, Susan and company are ordered by their hilariously inept president (a spot on Stephen Colbert) to fight back. And fight back is exactly what they do, as highlighted in action sequences spectacularly yet subtly enhanced by superb 3D effects, which do not annoy with cheesy “coming at ya” moments.
Take the films highlight, an action sequence set in San Francisco, as an example of where a token fight scene has been augmented into something much better, as a 5O foot woman –with Mac trucks as roller skates – streaks down the streets of San Francisco with a huge alien robot in tow, leading to a throwdown on the Golden Gate Bridge.
As debris and rubble tumbles towards the screen, viewers will be hard pressed to deny the achievement of this new and improved 3-D, which Dreamworks aims to be their bread and butter.
Additionally, its tribute and spoof of B-grade movie monsters works well, mainly since its love of said sub-genre is worn with pride. Yet despite its vibrant and engrossing visuals, it falls short of reaching the recent heights set by Wall-E and Kung-Fu Panda, who had much more solid and funnier material to work with. So while Monsters vs. Aliens can be enjoyed in a 2-D setting, this is a film which must be seen in 3D.
Whether it proves to be a benchmark of new and improved 3D, or a flash in the pan, depends on its viewers.