Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon. US. 2009.

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A Dreamworks’ Animation production that is enjoying a simultaneous 3-D release on the big screen; tells a very American story with no worry of world domination until you get the stereotypical view of Europe, Japan and South America.

Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) wakes up on her wedding day to a loving greeting by her groom-to-be weatherman Derek (Paul Rudd). After a brief discussion before the nuptials, a meteorite consisting of mostly ‘Quantonium’ falls from the sky and hits Susan. She survives and goes to the ceremony where upon she grows 50ft and comes under attack from the government who attempt to nullify her threat to the community. 

Susan wakes up in Area 52 (whoops I shouldn’t mention that otherwise they might kill me) a facility that houses monsters with the idea of using them to protect America from would be attackers but also for their own safety.  She is joined here by Bob (Seth Rogen) who is a blob with no brain; Mr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie) a brainy man who moulded with a cockroach and The Missing Link (Will Arnett), half fish/half ape – a show off really and Insectosaurus who is the largest maggot in the world.

When the threat of attack comes from Alien Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) who is after the quantonium, General WR Monger (‘war-monger’ see what they did there, Kiefer Sutherland) suggests that the monsters fight the aliens in a battle royale. 

What follows are set pieces and action sequences befitting the title promising fights and larger than life action; but the script that was witty and funny to begin with takes a second place to the need for action and resolution.  Susie’s initial request to return to normal so she could be with Derek is washed over quickly, when Derek dismisses her as a freak and would rather move along alone.  Hence forth, children learn to never be told you are different; you are as good as you are and you will always be needed.

Kudos to Rogen who brings enough laughs to a jelly and a recurring joke of being in love with Derek himself keeps it going and Wilson whose big villain speech is one of the funnier things (‘But I’ve told you more than enough’) where in fact he has not. Also getting Stephen Colbert to play the keyboard playing president is a nice touch (‘Gentleman, change the threat colour to brown; because I have to change my pants’) bringing his natural cynicism to the hardest job in the world.

I saw the 3D version and but for some flimsy things like a ball on a bat being bounced out to us; wings flapping there would be just as much entertainment garnered from the 2D version and save the motion sickness for a more warranted release.

All in all; some great value for money and entertainment, you’ll come out with a smile on your face and not much to complain about.
Jamie Garwood

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