Monsters vs Aliens sees Dreamworks (makers of the Shrek movies among others) returns with a classic Hollywood B-Grade concept with a 21st century 3D animated twist.
Monsters vs Aliens isn’t the first movie to be released in 3D in recent times, but it’s perhaps one of the biggest in what is going to be a wave of 3D movies. 3D is seen by studios as that extra special reason to get people to the movies, where as the same experience either can’t be, or is difficult to be replicated at home.
There’s two parts to them movie to consider: the story line and then the 3D.
The story line (you can get the basics from the Monsters vs Aliens trailer) pits Monsters that have been captured and hidden away by the US Government, against an invasion by aliens. The plot may be a little thin, but it’s the application that makes it enjoyable, even for adults. Like any good Dreamworks movie, there’s a thick dose of cultural references that are lost on kids; I won’t spoil them all, but a color in one scene is referred to as Adobe Gold (I laughed, although I was probably alone), and there’s even a Futurama reference after the credits have rolled (don’t leave until they’ve finished). The vocal talent adds to the movie, with a who’s who of people you’d know and love, including Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett and even Stephen Colbert. The Australian version (I presumed they’ve dubbed one character based on the country it’s released in) included local television identity David “Kochie” Koch.
As a movie that delivers laughs, and it’s good value like many Dreamworks animated movies were before it.
The 3D was always going to be the interesting side for me though. I’m old enough to remember attempts to bring 3D back in the 80’s, with the blue and red cardboard glasses that without fail always disappointed. Let me say simply that the technology has come a very long way, and Digital 3D takes the form to a new level, and I’m not just including the glasses, which were solid plastic and not visibly red and blue.
What is notable from the first scenes is that this is a movie that has been made primarily to take advantage of 3D, at times gratuitously so, with characters purposely doing things that really only make sense when viewed in 3D. Other scenes though were stunning, particularly the space scenes which were 3D porn in their rendered beauty.
But was it worth the extra cost? You can enjoy the movie in 2D, but for that extra experience at the movies, I’m sold and would pay to view future releases in 3D. I know that 3D in part is a scam by Hollywood to get people through the door and paying more, but they win. The movie is recommended in 3D. You’ll enjoy it, and be wowed by some of the effects delivered.