Monsters vs Aliens (PG)

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The Independent Culture

A 1950s creature feature reimagined and streamlined by the digimation boffins at DreamWorks, it does what it says in the title, but with maximum verve. Reese Witherspoon voices Susan, a California girl who on her wedding day is hit by a meteorite and transformed into a 50-ft woman.

It's certainly an awkward moment at the altar. Renamed Ginormica, she is packed off to a secret government facility housing four other monsters: a bug-headed mad scientist (Hugh Laurie), a half-ape, half-fish (Will Arnett), a gelatinous blue blob (Seth Rogen, of course) and a giant grub named Insectosaurus. When a UFO lands in America ("the only country UFOs ever seem to land in") the monsters are mobilised to defend humanity against an alien overlord named Gallaxhar. As well as some nifty perspective gags (a lovely little nod to Vertigo, as Susan is chased through the streets of San Francisco), there's a magnificent set-piece on a tilting Golden Gate Bridge between the monsters and a gigantic robot, er, thingy, which probably gave the animators a headache but yields only delight for the audience. Aficianadoes of 1950s monster movies should have a ball spotting all the references. All anyone else requires is a taste for good fun.