DreamWorks Review: Monsters vs Aliens

DreamWorks Animation's 18th feature film.
DreamWorks Animation’s 18th feature film.

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My Opinion right after watching movie

My overall opinion of this movie is that it is good…. but only good. It definitely could have been better with a more epic story and more action, and it could have been better paced but for what there is, the story is told well, and the characters are likable. While this film is not the best, it is neither forgettable or one of the bottom movies in the canon.

Production

I really could not find much about the production of this film, but there is a bit. So a bunch of people over at the studio wanted to make a film that reminded them what created “the nerd” anyway, sci-fi. They waned to add some satire to the stereotypes of sci-fi in the film somehow, and it took A LOT of terrabytes (1 terabyte=1000 gigabytes to make this film, and they made it in 3d from scratch. That is really it, sorry.

Story

So the story starts with a meteor about to crash earth. We then meet Susan (Reese Whitherspoon) who wakes up to her girlfriends squealing about her wedding, and they get prepared to wed. She goes to the chapel to then be told by her famous weatherman fiance Derek (Paul Rudd) that instead of their honeymoon taking place in Paris, they are going to Fresno because he has a job interview, showing his dick-like attitude. He soon leaves her alone outside for the meteor to fall on her.

I do not know how a rock this big is supposed to nt kill her, but... couldn't tey have thought of another reason that actually made more sense to turn her into a monster?
I do not know how a rock this big is supposed to not kill her, but… couldn’t they have thought of another reason that actually made more sense to turn her into a monster?

She enters the church and is about to exchange her vows with Derek, but glows, hair turns white, and grows to something like 50 feet, breaking the roof of the church. Someone calls the government (straight to the government, which makes no sense) and a bunch of military members take her down and brings her to a secret military reserve for monsters. She is sad about her life changing like this so drastically, and meets B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie), Missing link (Will Arnett), and Insectosaurus (Conrad Vernin). She soon learns that she will never leave there and that makes her miserable.

Monsters vs Aliens

So then we are shown to our antagonist alien who is Gallaxar (Rainn Wilson) who wants quantonion for which we never know why he wants it, and lands on Earth to get it. The President (Stephen Colbert) goes to the machine to do, this…

Really? What purpose does htis have to do in the movie other than to make a cheap laugh out of a pop culture moment. How did the President know that this will get the machine to go away? Filler moments like these are pretty apparent in the movie, which holds it back from being anything big.
Really? What purpose does this have to do in the movie other than to make a cheap laugh out of a pop culture moment. How did the President know that this will get the machine to go away? Filler moments like these are pretty apparent in the movie, which holds it back from being anything big.

So we then find this scene to actually do something to the plot when the military attacks it and decides to send the monsters to go after it. So after a filler scene with Susan and the other monsters, the military tells them that they are going to find an alien robot and they will be free after that, but what they will do after they are free?…. yeah. They also have no training from what we have seen so far, though that is what they were planned to do all along.

Anyways, they are dropped off at the Golden Gate bridge to fight the alien machine. It takes a while, but Susan eventually defeats it all on her own, with her allies doing nothing that helped her defeat it.

We are 45 minutes in the movie, and this is all that happened. With all that happened though, it was told well.
We are 45 minutes in the movie, and this is all that happened. With all that happened though, it was told well.

So Susan feels empowered after defeating the alien robot and they all go to her parent’s house. The monsters don’t fit in, and Susan goes to Derek’s workplace to see him, but he ultimately dumps her because she is more famous than he is, and too big for him, pissing her off. She vents about how he was a jerk, though never seemed to care beforehand. She realizes that she did a great thing today and they are lifted by her speech, but she is taken by Gallaxar because she has quantonium in her, and Insectosaurus is shot trying to save her.

Monsters vs Aliens

He takes the Quantonium out of her, we still do not know what he is going to do with it, and the other monsters come to get Susan. They disguise themselves as guards and take her away. They realize that they have to blow up the ship before the alien attack starts, which is what is eventually done and the quantoniun is returned to her.

The climax is a bit anticlimactic. Maybe because Gallaxar is not a threatening villain.
The climax is a bit anticlimactic. Maybe because Gallaxar is not a threatening villain.

The 4 monsters escape, Insectosaurus turns into a butterfly instead of dying, and Derek tries to get back with her and to do an interview with her, but she refuses both. The General (Kiefer Sutherland) tells them about another case, and the crew are on their way to stop another villain.

There si a lot of good in the movie and when I mean a lot, I mean a lot, but when it comes ot the story, there is not a lot of depth and it is not as epic as it wants to be. I think the comedic, pop-culture moments made this omvie weaker. There was such potential, but it was way tooo simple when it was not to be, and there were a few minor holes. It had a lot of unrealized potential, but it was an improvement over the other DreamWorks films 5 years prior and was a sign that things were getting better.
There is a lot of good in the movie and when I mean a lot, I mean a lot, but when it comes to the story, there is not a lot of depth and it is not as epic as it wants to be. I think the comedic, pop-culture moments made this movie weaker. There was such potential, but it was way too simple when it was not to be, and there were a few minor holes. It had a lot of unrealized potential, but it was an improvement over the other DreamWorks films 5 years prior and was a sign that things were getting better.

Characters

SUsan is a very likeable protagonist. She is just the normal girl who did not have much to do, and is very go-with the flow and unassertive. I would lie if I said that she is not too perfect though. She is all kickass without any training, and she does not really have any traits that can be seen as negative or in between.
Susan is a very likable protagonist. She is just the normal girl who did not have much to do, and is very go-with the flow and unassertive. I would lie if I said that she is not too perfect though. She is all kickass without any training, and she does not really have any traits that can be seen as negative or in between.
BOB is actually pretty funny, which is weird because I do not really find Seth Rogen funny. He is dumb and not very productive.
B.O.B. is actually pretty funny, which is weird because I do not really find Seth Rogen funny. He is dumb and not very productive.
Dr. Cockroach is also very likable. He is a bit crazyy, too eccentric, and is practically the typiclal mad scientist. He is also a dancer and has some funny moments.
Dr. Cockroach is also very likable. He is a bit crazy, too eccentric, and is practically the typical mad scientist. He is also a dancer and has some funny moments.
Missing Link is also an entertaining character. He is the oldest one out of the group, and is not as fit as his jock-like persona would like o think. He is good at martial arts.
Missing Link is also an entertaining character. He is the oldest one out of the group, and is not as fit as his jock-like persona would like o think. He is good at martial arts.
I don't really know what to say about Insectosaurus. He doesn't speak but makes moans and snots things out of his nose. Just there.
I don’t really know what to say about Insectosaurus. He doesn’t speak but makes moans and snots things out of his nose. Just there.
He is the typical arrogant, self-absorbed dream guy.
Derek is the typical arrogant, self-absorbed dream guy.
Gallaxar gets stuff done, but he is neither threatening or interesting. We do not know why he is even after the quantonium and what he wants to do with it.
Gallaxar gets stuff done, but he is neither threatening or interesting. We do not know why he is even after the quantonium and what he wants to do with it.

Animation

The animation in this movie is great. The details on Susan’s hair, the scales on Link, the explosions, and it is so great how they added so much detail in this movie, where it could have been extremely plain. But there is one problem with it, the human designs.

Do you find THIS not to be creepy to look at?
Do you find THIS not to be creepy to look at?

Most of them look really weird as if they were trying to make them not too realistic or too cartoony, but it looks like a mess, but it can be overlooked since there is not much humans that appear for more than 5 minutes in the movie.

Music

The soundtrack is done by Henry Jackman, which I say is that it is alright. It gets the job done, but it is not really memorable.

Reception at Release

When this film was released on March 27th, 2009, it opened at #1. It eventually made $198,351,526 domestically, $183,158,344 overseas, and $381,509,870 in total, being the third highest-grossing animated film of 2009 behind Up and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Katzenberg was disappointed because he said “All shared an approach and tone and idea of parody, and did not travel well internationally. We don’t have anything like that coming on our schedule now.”, which I believe is cough for it did not make $400 million unlike How to Train Your Dragon, which is the same for Shark Tale and Megamind, as they did not make $400 mill.

Critically, it got favourable reviews. People who liked the film said that it was funny, fun, and the animation was great while the people who did not like it said that the character development is problematic and the story seems more like gimmicks.

When it comes to awards, there was not much there. It was animated for 3 Annies in animation and voice acting, and won 1 for storyboarding. It was nominated for 2 Kid’s Awards, and was completely snubbed by the Academy Awards.

Reception Today

Since this movie did not do much for the studio, it is not a DreamWorks classic and is not that talked about, but something good happened to it as it is now a franchise with a spin-off series that shares the same title that aired of March this year and is on it’s 1st season. It is known and does have a fanbase, so it’s reputation is not bad.

Final Score

Story = 6.5/10

Characters = 7.5/10

Music = 6.5/10

Animation = 8/10

=28/40=  70% 

Next Time……

Review: November 5th, 2013
Review: November 5th, 2013
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9 thoughts on “DreamWorks Review: Monsters vs Aliens

  1. Plotholes…nothing but plotholes…and they are always the deal breaker for me. I just can’t shut down my brain enough for this one.

    1. Well, I did address the plotholes that I found. This film could have been a lot better, but at least it is not a colossal mess like Bee movie or El Dorado.

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