MONSTERS VS ALIENS

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Overall Impression – Not a bad movie, but one with a very muddled central question.  And a few more comedy punch-up writers wouldn’t have hurt, either.   

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Who is your main character? – Susan

What is she trying to accomplish? – Professional: First half of the film she wants to get out of the government’s monster prison and be normal.  Second half it’s to destroy the aliens. Personal: Have her normal life back, although this gets a bit lost midway through. Private: Prove to herself how strong she is (although we only learn about this halfway through the movie).  Add up all of these and you have a confused central question as a result of her goal being a bit of a moving target.

Who’s trying to stop her? – Ultimately, the alien leader.

What happens if she fails? – Earth will be invaded by aliens and humans will be destroyed.

THE FOUR ARCHETYPES

Orphan – Susan is bonked by a meteorite at the start of the film, taken from her family after she becomes the 50 Foot Woman, and thrown into a cell in a government facility.

Wanderer – After an alien probe lands and goes on a rampage, Susan and the other monsters have to figure out how to use their monster skills to defeat it.

Warrior – Susan is kidnapped by the alien leader and fights him in his ship.  Meanwhile, the other monsters stage a rescue.

Martyr – Susan has returned to normal size and can escape the self-destructing ship, however she allows herself to become ginormous again to save her monster friends, who are also willing to martyr themselves for her.

AND, IN THE END…

MONSTERS VS ALIENS came this close to being a really good movie.  The 3D was a lot of fun and it’s interesting to watch as the technology gets embraced.  I can’t wait until the “adult” 3D movies start coming out.  

There was nothing horribly wrong with the movie that a quick once over in Contour couldn’t have fixed.   Allies are introduced in the wrong place, the central question was poorly defined, the third act solution was presented haphazardly (cars used as skates…watch for it).  This was one of those movies that just need a little bit more to be great; a little better plotting, a little punchier humor, a little bit more character work.

It’s done great business and deservedly so, but it was a little frustrating to watch because every last shortcoming was so fixable!  That being said, it’s easy to armchair quarterback a movie that one didn’t have to live with for several years in development.  

— Jeffrey Alan Schechter

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One Response to “MONSTERS VS ALIENS”

  1. The Ceej April 9, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    “Adult” 3D movies?? That is funny. You could be the comedy punch-up writer they lacked 😉

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