Recently I went to see a delightful movie that I’d been somewhat curious about: “Monsters Vs. Aliens”.  I don’t go to see many children’s movies, but I found a lot to enjoy in this flick. With some cast of notable reputation and a few surprises they don’t advertise (like Stephen Colbert doing something different than usual) doing the voice acting, it’s easy to get behind the movie and really enjoy the set-up. Given the choice with the kids, go see it in 3D, so they can enjoy all the visual effects. If you, like me, just want to see a silly movie, just go see it in regular format. The movie has a lot of surprises I wasn’t expecting from something with the supposed target audience of young children. Throughout though, there were things that got me laughing and enough little things to make it a good movie to watch at least a few time to catch all of it.
The story is something simple enough, some planet explodes, hurling a meteorite at earth. The scene cuts to something akin to any scary movie, with a first-person camera creeping in to introduce our main protagonist, Susan Murphy. It’s 5 am on her wedding day to the local weather man, Derek Dietl in Modesto California. While this has some touching scenes, the story’s just getting moving. Susan is waiting for her time at the Altar when she finds out their romantic honey moon to Paris is cancelled for Derek can go for a position as Anchor in Fresno. Susan supports this notion after she gets over her initial shock, but remains at least somewhat disappointed. This is when our errant meteorite chooses to make its appearance and Susan gets buried underneath it. The scene cuts to over the hill, with her mother rushing the now dazed Susan into the church to quickly clean her up and get her ready for the ceremony. Just before the camera cuts into the church, we see Military Humvees pull-up in front of the church.
Inside the church, Susan begins to glow then grow to many times her original size. With this, a very nice scene ensues as people flee from instinctual fear. Susan is captured and taken to a totally secret (not top secret) facility somewhere presumably in the US. The secret facility that is secret so that even the mention of its name is a federal offense (or one dart to the neck), taking a paraphrase from the movie. It’s there we meet the rest of the crew, Doctor Cockroach, PhD (a human turned cockroach through a genetic enhancement experiment), The Missing Link (found terrorizing a beach having fought off ALL local and state law enforcement) and B.O.B., (a science experiment come alive)who we can see working together, but also showing some support for the very traumatized Susan who wants to just return to normal.. We also encounter Gallaxhar, the main antagonist, bent on obtaining a mysterious substance that has come to earth and then world conquest. Suffice to say the movie offers a strong female protagonist who really sets a good role-model later in the film with her tenacity.
The thing that really struck me was just how many little references there were in the movie to films I had seen growing up. A missile with the memorable words “E.T. Go Home”, the President of the US approaching the alien vessel with only a keyboard, the Vulcan Hand salute, and the themes of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Beverly Hills Cop”. Those are just the ones that I know I caught. A lot of the movie still had things geared to a much more mature audience, so parents honestly have something to look forward to in seeing this film. Just some memories are all you’ll need to get a lot more enjoyment out of the movie.
This is a good movie to go see with some good friends when you want a quick laugh (or something to slip into, though that is NOT endorsed in any way). If you can get people to go see it just to count the number of references there are in the film, go for it. The film is a delight for all ages, though mainly targeted toward a younger audience and their progenitors. If you get the chance, try and go, bringing the young ones along.

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