Posted by: David Stewart | April 6, 2009

Let the Gender Wars Commence! (Movie Review | ”Monsters vs Aliens”)

It has long been observed that a society’s art reflects the reigning paranoia of the time.

During the 1950’s, movie houses were full of alien invasion films and monster movies, as a reaction to the “red scare” and fears of nuclear annihilation. Most people today are seeing the financial end of the world as we know it. So Hollywood serves up a remade “The Day the Earth Stood Still” which suggests that we might be able to stop our self-destructive tendencies after all, if given the right “encouragement.”

So it seems fitting that we get the ultimate mash-up of monster and alien movies in “Monsters vs Aliens”. Aside from the obvious fear that Monster Cables might sue Dreamworks for copyright infringement, the real delight of this movie is not the whizz-bang technical showcase, but the female empowerment story at its core.

Reese Witherspoon, who voices the lead monster, revisits her role as Elle from “Legally Blonde”. Something extraordinary can happen when you unlearn the limitations imposed on you by tradition. You get a hint of the gender issues brewing in the opening scenes, where an amorous couple features a reluctant boy gymnast (whose license plate claims that he is “gym nasty”) pursued by an overly-aggressive girl.

The 3D version is wonderful, but I wonder if it’s worth the $10.50 for a ticket. Ouch!

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