Ah, poor Susan. Just about to get married, when a meteorite hits her and makes her all big and unwieldly. No good for a wedding night. Although certain benefits present themselves. It was around this point (about 7½ minutes in) that two things occurred to me. One, that I’m actually faintly disturbed and annoyed by hair in Dreamworks films, the way it swishes around in clumps and just looks so unreal. Two, that I already hated Susan’s character, and her anchorman fiance, and the premise of the film. My hatred would only grow as the remaining 126 minutes trundled by. Boy, they trundled.
You see, I’ve mentioned previously how much I hated (HATED) Ratatouille. I thought things had moved on. Incredible animation isn’t enough anymore. I KNOW you can do amazing things with animation. I GET it. You really do need to supplement that with a story and some heart. And so we come to Monsters versus Aliens. The story here is this: monsters on earth get imprisoned by humans, some aliens attack earth, the humans get the monsters to fight them. That’s it. That’s really it. Don’t expect sub-plots or clever twists. That is literally IT. But, obviously, lots of good voice acting and great dialogue and jokes will make that story soar. Yes, I imagine they would have. But we don’t get any of that. Instead we have a group of big names (Reece Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland and Renee Zellweger among them) phoning in half-arsed performances of boring characters with a terrible script. The jokes, what there are of them, fall flat more or less the entire time. Rarely was I able to raise even a smile. But don’t take my word for it, here are some examples I’ve laboriously written out for you.
The bit where the villain (Gallaxhar) pours a hot drink into his ear. I presume it’s meant to be funny, given the musical exclamation that concludes the scene. But it’s not. It’s really not. It doesn’t even make sense.
The bit where Susan’s selfish ex-fiance proposes that the giant Susan grant him an exclusive interview in order to secure him a snazzy anchor job in New York. Susan picks him up, says, “goodbyeeeeeeee Derek,” then flicks him a few feet in the air. Rarely has a comeuppance been less dramatic or funny. It’s just weird. It’s like someone thought it would be hilarious, but when the time came to animate it, everyone realised it was rubbish but had no time to write anything better.
Except, of course, that nobody thought it was going to be hilarious. Monsters versus Aliens is a cynical exercise in making as much cash as possible whilst putting in as little effort as possible. Kids love aliens, and they love monsters. Throw them together and you can’t lose. Well, we did lose. I can think of nothing positive to say about this film. It stank from start to finish. I HATED it. Absolutely, honest to God, hand on heart, fucking hated it.