Monsters vs. Aliens
Voices of : Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen
Direction : Conrad Vernon, Rob Letterman
Rating : *** ½
Digital 3-D animation is hotting up. DreamWorks outraces its rival, Pixar, which will release the much-touted 'toon titled Up next month. So here's a dazzler --- Monsters vs. Aliens --- which spells visually inventive entertainment, especially for the kiddies-at-heart viewers.
Appropriately, the screenplay riffs on the B-grade 'creature features' of the 1950s, many of which were actually screened in the outmoded 3-D format. Inevitably, the plot is unimportant. It's the animation with its beautifully rendered backdrops that draws us into the lives of the imaginative characters.
The protagonist is a strong-willed bride (dubbed alluringly by Witherspoon) who is hit by a radioactive meteorite on her wedding day. Oh dear!
She shoots up to gargantuan proportions. And is incarcerated in a government facility where she meets four other 'monstrous' inmates. Not to worry too much because the 50-foot femme and her mutant friends are released in order to combat invading aliens. The very survival of Planet Earth is at stake --- which means the tenacious quintet must smash and stomp their way through obstacles of the extra-terrestrial kind.
This snappy 94-minute adventure showcases a couple of set-pieces like the havoc wreaked on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the near-holocaustic finale aboard a spaceship. When viewed through the polarised spectacles, some of the effects are spine-tingling.
A sub-plot involving the bridegroom is simplistic to a fault. Also the gigantic, if cuddlesome, Insectosaurus seems to be an afterthought. Such grouses apart, there's no denying the wealth of vocal talent including Stephen Colbert as a the dim-witted US president and Keifer Sutherland as the warden of the monster prison.
A top-of-the-line animated fix is guaranteed.