Sunday, 23 June 2013

Monsters University (2013) - ★★★½

Director: Dan Scanlon
Writers: Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Dan Scanlon
Voices: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi, Peter Sohn, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Charlie Day, Bonnie Hunt

Monsters University was exactly as I expected it to be. That is exceptionally ordinary. There are plenty of laughs and some pretty cool things here and there, but there's nothing special about it. What was special in Monsters Inc. was the beautiful relationship these two monsters formed with Boo, a human girl. It's not an unnecessary sequel/prequel, because it does show the origin of certain stories (like why Randall hated Mike and Solley in the first movie). In retrospect, I wish I didn't pay money to see it in cinema. I'd rent it on DVD though!

So this movie is about how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) became friends. They meet at university, where they're both hoping to become 'scarers.' Mike knows more about scaring than any other monster, but the problem is that he just isn't scary. Sulley knows hardly any of the theoretical work behind scaring, but he's a very scary monster. When they're both kicked out of the scarers class, they join a fraternity for social misfits called Oozma Kappa. With their hilarious new friends, they must compete in the Scare Games for a chance to make it back into the scarers class.

First of all, I absolutely love the creative new monsters they came up with. Particularly the headmaster of the university, Dean Hardscrabble (Helen Mirren). She was a cockroach/centipede/dragon infused monster. The real stars of the movie were the Oozma Kappa members. All of them were downright hilarious, particularly Squishy.

While I didn't find this movie to be as funny as its predecessor, it's still really funny. In fact, I laughed more than anyone else in the cinema (and it was full of children). My friend on the other hand had a miserable time. She thought it wasn't nearly as funny as the first film. Also, what was up with Sulley's personality in this movie? He was a complete jerk for the most part. It wasn't the character I fell in love with, but I can see why they took him in that direction. I guess they wanted to show character development. It just didn't suit one of the most delightful Disney characters of all time.

Not the Sulley we all know and love.
I'm not gonna lie, I was so disappointed that Boo didn't make a special appearance. That girl found her way into my heart, so I couldn't help but sit in anticipation for the ending. Usually there are some funny credits and a short segment, but there was nothing here. BUT, I am very happy that they included Randall and the slug lady that says "I'm watching you Wazowski, always watching."

It's a perfectly good movie, but it needed a spark to make it great. Something to grab you emotionally and make you become really invested in the story. That's what this movie was missing, true emotion. I think there were a lot of missed opportunities here too, they could have done something truly beautiful with the story. Oh well, a man can dream though.

It's delightful, it's fun, it's everything I thought it would be. Monsters University is good, but nowhere near the same league as Monsters Inc. I said it before and I'll say it again, I'd rent it out on DVD, but never pay to see it in cinema. If only I could turn back time...

1 comment:

  1. Good review Ben. Not as original or inventive that Pixar has been in the past, especially with the original flick.