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Monsters vs Aliens (3D in some cinemas)


Stars: Voices: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Paul Rudd, Renee Zellweger, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Jeffrey Tambor, Julie White

Director: Conrad Vernon, Rob Letterman

...and it's the 'monsters' who are the heroes here, in this computer-animated combination of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Mars Attacks! and Attack of the 50ft Woman - with a dash of Dan Dare thrown in.

On her wedding day, Susan (Witherspoon) is exposed to alien radiation and grows to 50 feet tall, whereupon she's ensnared by General W R Monger (Sutherland) and, as Gynormica, deposited in secure cells along with his collection of other monsters, including magnified Professor Cockroach (Laurie), amoebic slob B.O.B. (Rogen, of course!) and the Missing Link (Arnett).

All of them are released and called into action, though, when Earth is menaced by aliens who merely pretend to come in peace and in fact are after the Quantonium to be found only in Gynormica's body.

Not in the same space class as WALL.E, this one only really gets going in the last 20 minutes, although there are a few fun moments on the way when the monsters are let loose at a party given by Susan's parents. 'I think the jello,' complains the amorphous B.O.B., 'just gave me a fake phone number.'

The film's funny lines, however, rarely seem assimilated into the whole, which remains a routine comic-book space adventure.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Paramount (DreamWorks). Colour by deluxe.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Mar 2009