Sunday, 23 June 2013

Monsters University Review

I'll start this by admitting I'm not a huge fan of Monsters Inc. There I said it. Toy Story, The Incredibles and Wall-E are the three pinnacles of Pixar to me. So Monsters University was not particularly appealing to me from the start. It's not that I dislike Monsters Inc, I just thought it was a wonderful film for children but lacked much for the adults in the audience.

Mike and Sulley are funny and the set pieces were fun but a sequel or a prequel would not be welcomed by me personally. Monsters University sees Mike and Sulley enrolling at the college for monsters in training, preparing to becomes Scarers and make their way out into the big bad world of terrifying little children in their sleep at night.

It is When Mikey Met Sulley if you like, the beginning of a bromance that we all know pretty much how it will end. There are references and characters from the original (beyond the central pair) who pop up playfully and the back to school coming of age vibe works quite well. The supporting cast at the frat house that Mike and Sulley join add some much needed fun after the set up focuses almost solely on Mike and provides a lack of laughs.

The story is completely predictable until a last minute shift into the real world plays brilliantly with slasher conventions in a secluded bunkhouse at a camp for little girls. The stuff that comes before it on campus is so bright and colourful, the monster design so seen-it-all-before and harmless (except Dean Hardscrabble) that when it finally gets to the really creepy stuff with Mike and Sulley becoming the hunted, it is an incredibly welcome detour.

Monsters University is heavily reliant on slapstick and the mildest of peril. It will endlessly amuse children but adults are likely to hope for more witty banter and will welcome the addition of the Oozma Kappa frat house team who steal laughs and heart from the central pair. The relationship between Mike and Sulley never feels too truly stretched but their overcoming of their personal problems provides a satisfying conclusion and ties things up nicely.
My main problem with Monsters University is the same as it was with Monsters Inc. These monsters are just too damn fluffy, cuddly and colourful for my liking. That may be the point; to show kids that monsters have hearts too and are really nothing to be scared of, but I just wish there were more monsters like the Helen Mirren voiced hideous Dean Hardscrabble out there.

Watch the trailer:

Recent reviews at I Love That Film:

Man of Steel Review

This is the End Review 

Fast and Furious 6 Review

Ruby Sparks Review

The Look of Love Review 

21 & Over Review

Iron Man 3 Review

Olympus Has Fallen Review

Spring Breakers Review

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