David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

movie thoughts: monsters vs. aliens

I was feeling particularly crappy last night, so went to go see MONSTERS VS. ALIENS to try to cheer myself up. Didn't work, but the movie is sort of okay. It's nowhere near as good as the trailer, which shamelessly clipped a number of the few very effective funny bits, but the characters are likable and the action set-pieces are quite good. I do like the team dynamic it sets up: Susan/Ginormica (aka, "the 49'11" woman," which height must appear in the press kits because it's nowhere mentioned in the actual film) starts out as The Newbie but quickly becomes The Leader, with Dr. Cockroach Ph.D. a close second-in-command, the amorphous BOB providing comic relief and various bizarre functions that you'll have to see to appreciate, and the amphibian Missing Link providing heart and a good bit of muscle when circumstances permit him to (which isn't as often as you'd think). Also, there is the gigantic Godzilla-esque Insectasaurus, who is adorable, terrifying, and remarkably funny when you realize he's not so much a character as a running gag. It's a very effective team dynamic, really: Susan takes on the threat directly, ordering BOB and Link to where they'll be most effective, and giving Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D., the time to solve the problem by thinking up a way around it. The movie would serve as a better pilot than a standalone, because whatever flaws it has, the main characters aren't bad at all. (I rather liked General W.R. Monger, too; despite his name, he comes out remarkably likable.)

The story, though, doesn't feel it's quite there. A lot of the things that are supposed to be funny simply aren't -- it's like they cast Stephen Colbert as the President because *of course he'll be funny! he's Stephen Colbert!* Well, no, he won't, absent any good lines and his wildly sycophantic audience. Most of the gags are simply painfully lame. They'd play well with six-year-olds, but not so much with adults. Pixar this ain't. But it's got a good character base, and I could see it being a Yuletide fandom.
Tags: movies
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