‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ Confusing and Forgettable, yet Charming

It was the perfect alien movie parody- an outer-being invades Earth and a bunch of dim-witted monsters have to stop him. Add the fact that DreamWorks Animation (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda) is behind it should make it to be a hit! But ever since Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, DreamWorks has been going downhill. Pixar and them were always competing to be the top studio, DreamWorks constantly casting major stars to voice (Aliens no exception) and Pixar always winning awards (Wall-E took home the Oscar for 'Best Animated Feature' last year). But even celebrities couldn't save this train wreck of a movie. The predicaments are frankly unlikely and dumb, and a lot of the scenes are left unexplained, the ending for one. Directors Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon, who have both been with DreamWorks Animation for quite a while, Vernon having been since the first Shrek movie, attempt to create a parody of alien invasion movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and may have done just that. In a scene where the president (Stephen Colbert, hilarious but unnecessary) tries to communicate with the foreign ship, he plays a keyboard, obviously spoofing Close Encounters. It'll have you snickering.

But snickering alone does not make a good comedy. A good comedy has to have a few sight gags, evenly spaced jokes and a fairly funny cast. The cast is great, and I'm not referring to their talents. Monsters vs. Aliens stars Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen (whose character is pretty much the best part of the movie), Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett (we also get a cameo from Amy Poehler), Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski (you know him from The Office), Ed Helms (him too), Julie White, Jeffrey Tambor and, as I mentioned before, Stephen Colbert. Of course, we also have small parts played by DreamWorks regulars including the directors plus Sean Bishop, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Lisa Stewart, Latifa Ouaou and Geoffrey Pomeroy. A huge cast means huge money, which Monsters is sure to make.

In Monsters vs. Aliens, a meteorite from outer space hits a young girl, Susan (Witherspoon), on her wedding day, turning her into a nearly 50 foot woman. She's taken to a secret government lair with other monsters that have been kept hidden: B.O.B (Rogen), Dr. Cockroach (Laurie), The Missing Link (Arnett) and Insectosaurus. When the world faces an alien invasion by Gallhaxar (Wilson) soon after, General W.R Monger (Sutherland) suggests to President Hathaway (Colbert) to release the secret monsters and see if they can handle the situation better than the government can. "Oooze gonna save us?" B.O.B, no contest. The giant blob of blue goo saved the movie entirely. If it wasn't for the Seth Rogen voiced character, Monsters would have fell flat. "I think that Jell-O gave me a fake phone number."

Monsters vs. Aliens is the latest rocket that DreamWorks attempts to land on the moon. It doesn't land anywhere near Kung Fu Panda or Flushed Away, but it's enjoyable if you don't think too much about it. It's full of spoofs, cameos and some goofs only the adults in the audience will get (a pretty funny one from The Colbert Report, watch for it). You get a few giggles, but no real laugh-out-loud moments come from it.

Pixar's still going strong, but DreamWorks is staring to create epic money-making bombs.

2/5 popcorn buckets.

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