Release Date:  March 27, 2009
Rating:  PG (for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language)
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Adventure
Run Time:  94 min.
Directors:  Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon
Voices by:  Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski

In a set-up that someone wouldn’t exactly expect from a movie titled Monsters Vs. Aliens, a blushing bride-to-be named Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) doesn’t exactly end up with the storybook wedding day she was dreaming of.

See, not long after her self-absorbed hubby to be, Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd) informs her they’ll be going to nearby Fresno rather than Paris for their honeymoon—the former weatherman is making another lateral move toward a network anchor job, after all—Susan is trying to be a good sport when a huge meteorite comes out of nowhere and knocks her to the ground.

Trying to recover as gracefully as she can, Susan has a few stains on her dress, but even that can’t put a damper on future marital bliss, right? Well, until the unthinkable happens.

She’s glowing, but not in the usual way that brides do. And seconds later, she’s grown to more than 49 feet tall and is busting through the church’s roof, effectively frightening her groom and ending her wedding in one fell swoop. Before she’s had a chance to process what’s happening to her, however, she’s been transported somewhere so classified that government officials won’t even say the place’s name out loud.

After waking up in a jail cell, Susan, now referred to as Ginormica, has found out she’s been recruited for a secret mission to obliterate the aliens that have infiltrated Earth and have plans of doing great harm. And she’s got quite a cast of characters joining her for the ride—a mad scientist with a PhD who just happens to be a cockroach (Hugh Laurie), a headstrong half-fish, half-ape hybrid affectionately known as the Missing Link (Will Arnett), a 350-foot grab insectosaurus (he doesn’t talk) and a lovable, indestructible blue blob called B.O.B. (a scene-stealing Seth Rogen).

A little wary of her new partners (they definitely have that “ewww gross” quality), not to mention her new life, Susan will do just about anything to return to normal size—and a normal existence, so she reluctantly befriends these strange creatures and discovers a strength she didn’t know she had. Not only does she save hundreds of people from death on a rapidly crumbling Golden Gate Bridge, but she ultimately saves herself from a disappointing marriage when she realizes how selfish her ex fiancé is when he refuses to stand by her. It’s all because of how he’ll be perceived at work, naturally. 

Now that she isn’t fixated on getting back together with Derek, Ginormica embraces her new identity wholeheartedly and eventually loves saving fellow humans in distress.

But all is not rosy for long. Of course, a sci-fi story wouldn’t be complete without the requisite evil arch nemesis, which Rainn Wilson, best known as the beet-loving oddball Dwight Schrute on TV’s The Office, seems to have way too much fun with. As Gallaxhar, he hopes to capture Susan because she’s got something he needs to carry out his endgame.

While most of the story is decidedly unfussy, save for a little non-preachy takeaway about the power of friendship and loving people for the long haul, flaws and all, humor, not to mention a slew of well-crafted action scenes ultimately make Monsters Vs. Aliens an exciting ride from beginning to end—especially in 3-D.