Movie review: "Monsters vs. Aliens"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The new wave of 3-D has so far worked best with animation, and Dreamworks' Monsters vs. Aliens is no exception. It's a visual feast that's sure to look as good to parents as it does to kids.

The story itself, about monsters imprisoned by the government who are turned loose to protect the planet during an alien invasion, isn't as fortunate.

There are a few cute moments involving Susan (voiced by Resse Witherspoon), a girl turned into a giant by a meteorite collision, bonding with fellow monsters like a mad scientist cockroach (Hugh Laurie) and the gelatinous B.O.B. (Seth Rogen). Silly additions Nemesis Gallaxher (Rainn Wilson) and President Hathaway (Stephen Colbert) also get a few laughs.

For the most part, however, the picture is a lackluster mess of B-grade sci-fi cliches and "jokes" designed for the parents (presumably, the Al Gore reference isn't for 10-year-olds).

Like fellow Dreamworks animated ventures the Shrek and Madagascar movies, Monsters vs. Aliens is primarily focused on overly cute subplots and celebrity voices, which only sustain the movie for so long. But if you're taking the kids anyway, spend the extra few bucks to see it in its full-blown, 3-D glory.

"Monsters vs. Aliens"

Opens Friday

Grade: C