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March 21, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens

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Evidence that 3D animation is here to stay, "Monsters vs. Aliens" is a blast of eye-popping color and goofy characters that tips the scales a tad too far into violent realms to validate its purpose. A UFO lands in Modesto, California on the day of hopeful bride Susan Murphy's wedding, and the alien attack that follows presses the U.S. Government into bringing out their best-kept security secret: Monsters. A 20,000-year-old half-fish/half-ape called The Missing Link (Will Arnett), a gigantic furry bug named Insectasaurous, a mad scientist called Dr. Cockroach PhD. (Hugh Laurie), a one-eyed blue gelatinous mass called  B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), and the freshly grown 50-foot Susan--A.K.A. Ginormica (Reese Witherspoon)--do battle with an army of four-eyed aliens led by Rain Wilson's Gallaxhar. The writers smuggle in a pro-military subtext that intersects with a battle-of-the sexes theme being played out between Susan and her once would-be husband, an ambitious television broadcaster (Paul Rudd). Although good-humored, "Monsters vs. Aliens" doesn't stir many laughs. But that's not to say it's not an amusing ride if you can get past the spoonfuls of social insinuation being fed to your little ones.

(DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) Rated PG. 98 mins. (B-) (Three Stars)

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