Get ready to wear those tinted plastic glasses all summer because Hollywood’s on a 3-D binge with at least a dozen new movies utilizing the visual technology that allows various objects to be projected right into the audience.
In the animated “Monsters vs. Aliens,” the Modesto, California, nuptials of a bride, Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), and her vain TV newscaster groom, Derek (voiced by Paul Rudd), are interrupted by the crash of a stray meteorite. As a result of irradiation by oozy outer space glop, Susan grows and grows and grows, until she’s just one inch short of the amazing 50-foot woman. Since she’s now become a freak, she’s sequestered in a top-secret prison, along with B.O.B. (voiced by Seth Rogen), an indestructible-yet-clueless, blue blob who gobbles up everything; a droll British scientist named Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. (voiced by Hugh Laurie); an ape man/amphibian known as the Missing Link (voiced by Will Arnett); and Insectosaurus, a grub that’s seven times taller than Amazonian Susan, now called Ginormica.
Problem is: a huge, one-eyed, bullet-shaped alien robot is in San Francisco and the ineffectual U.S. president (voiced by Stephen Colbert) can’t seem to communicate since these aliens, apparently, aren’t familiar with the theme from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” So Gen. W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) promises the ever-optimistic MonSquad outcasts that they’ll go free if they can defeat the galactic invaders, whose sinister leader, Galaxhar (voiced by Rainn Wilson), unleashes an army of thousands of identical clones on his computerized spaceship.
Back in 1968, the Japanese came up with this monster mash concept which directors Rob Letterman (“Shark Tale”) and Conrad Vernon (“Shrek 2”) and a phalanx of writers have amplified into an amusingly playful female empowerment adventure with terrific attitude, lots of old-movie references, top-notch vocal talent and a climactic showdown at the Golden Gate Bridge.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Monsters vs. Aliens” in 3-D is an awesome, eye-popping 8. It’s enormously entertaining, particularly if you catch it in IMAX 3-D.