Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Movie News

Daredevil Debuts A Season 2 Poster
Concept art heads to NYCC
Terminator Genisys Producer Says The Franchise Is ''Re-Adjusting''
Dana Goldberg insists plans are not on hold indefinitely
The Good Lie's Philippe Falardeau Directing The Bleeder
Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts still on board the boxing drama
Disney's Moana Finds Its Lead Voice
Aula'i Carvalho will play the young explorer
Lex Luthor Makes The Fortune 500
Jesse Eisenberg's archvillain finds fame
Sony Plans A Danger Mouse Movie
Ooh crikey!
More Movie News

20 May 2009
Monsters vs Aliens TV Pilot Commissioned
Dreamworks and Nickelodeon keep rolling
More Movie News

Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

First Look At Monsters Vs Aliens
Empire is dazzled by new 3D footage

24 November 2008  |  Written by James Dyer  

submit to reddit

Empire donned a pair of flash new 3-D specs (not the dorky red and blue ones you used to find in Shreddies packets, but Kissinger-style black frames) and joined Jeffrey Katzenberg and a select audience for a thrilling world-first look at Monsters Vs. Aliens, DreamWorks Animation's latest foray into the third dimension. We were treated to three clips from the upcoming film, which managed to impress each and every member of the office. We can't convery the full marvel of three-dimensional carnage and do it justice but you can read an old fashioned 2D account of the footage below.


Glorious 3-D plunges us into a whirligig of Apache attack 'copters, tanks and squadrons of F-18s, as a giant, evil-eyed alien probe and what looks like most of the US military warily size each other up across a desert vista. The scene's set-up is a pastiche of Mars Attacks! which technically makes it a pastiche of a pastiche, or Pastiche².

The US President - voiced by satirist Stephen Colbert with pomposity cranked up to 11 - emerges from the White House helicopter, flanked by a phalanx of Secret Service agents, and heads up a long set of stairs to address the extra-terrestrial face to, er, eye. The Pres uses a Casio keyboard to communicate with the probe in a lovely riff off Close Encounters. Unfortunately, the musical address only fires up the dormant probe, and with giant legs sprouting from its sides, it sets about reducing the US military to pancake.

Narrowly avoiding a squashing himself, the President screams to his generals ("Do something violent!") before hurling himself into his chopper and beating a hasty retreat. The army duly obliges, launching an arsenal of missiles and shells which explode harmlessly against the alien pod's deflector shield, Independence Day-style. As you may have noticed, there's one or two alien-landing riffs in the scene. Sadly no sign of a Na-Nu Na-Nu-ing Robin Williams.

The action switches to the War Room where the President and his cabinet scratch their heads over a solution to the stomping alien probe. Cue: General W.R. Monger, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, who reveals a long-secret military facility housing the ultimate weapon: four terrifying B movie monsters, as well as Susan (Reese Witherspoon), who was covered by a meteor's 'unidentified space goo' on her wedding day and transformed into a 50-foot bridezilla.


The action switches to a cell in Monger's secret military facility. The giant Susan (or Ginormica, to give her correct monster name) is sleeping, still dreaming of honeymoons. As a klaxon sounds, Susan's bed is suddenly folded into the wall, transforming her cell into an elevator which drops at great speed, much to her terror...

When the cell/lift judders to a halt, one of its wall rises, opening onto a vast concrete chamber into which Susan cautiously peers. She inches into the room and we hear a voice whisper, "the new monster is only a giant pair of legs!" but all that sits in the chamber is a table surrounded by chairs. One is of normal size, dwarfed by others of Monster Ikea-proportions. As Susan scans the room, she unwittingly steps on the smaller one, reducing it to tangled metal.

Suddenly, a tube descends from the ceiling high above, depositing a large dollop of what looks like cold porridge onto the table, followed by a giant spoon. There's a scurrying noise and the antennae of a cockroach appear from behind the gruel. Unaware that this one of her new allies, the Hugh Laurie-voiced Dr. Cockroach, Susan takes the spoon to the bug, narrowly missing its outsized head. "Careful! This magnificent brain of mine will be in the Smithsonian one day," shouts the brilliant-yet-conceited insect.

Dr. Cockroach is joined by the other monsters that emerge from their pens: B.O.B (Seth Rogen), a bright blue, gelatinous eating-machine; The Missing Link, half ape, half fish; and Insectosaurus, a furry, super-sized grub weaned on parts of Tokyo. The Missing Link expresses disappointment at Susan's appearance, grumbling, "I was hoping for a wolfman."


It’s finally time for the misfit band of monsters to take on the seemingly invincible alien probe and prove their mettle. Susan warily searches an eerily evacuated San Francisco for the metal menace, before it steps out from its hiding place and battle commences.

Even at her size she’s dwarfed by the probe and is quickly forced into retreat — using two abandoned cars as makeshift rollerskates to amp up her velocity, while dodging vehicles and billboards that the probe flings at her. Meanwhile, the slimy B.O.B. swims through the sewer system and pops up out of a manhole onto a street, where he joins The Missing Link and Dr. Cockroach in a souped-up tram (Dr. Cockroach has strapped a rocket onto each side). Cue some high-speed carnage, as the alien probe chases our heroes onto the Golden Gate Bridge.

Reminiscent of the heroes-versus- Omnidroid fight in The Incredibles, this sequence contained some of the most impressive 3-D moments — cars plunging into the raging ocean, Dr. Cockroach throwing himself into the probe’s churning inner mechanism (“Nothing can hurt a cockroach!”) and the mammoth Insectosaurus going on the rampage before getting hypnotised by the probe’s short-circuiting eye.

Katzenberg promises, though, that this is only a taste of the movie’s action. “The probe is just one thing that the alien watching from space has in store for Earth. There are plenty more surprises.”

According to Katzenberg, the new 3-D is to its polaroid predecessor what the sportscar is to the bicycle. Empire has officially chucked its bike in the bushes.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

31 Days Of Larry Fills Lionsgate's Diary
Rom-com from writer Corinne Kingsbury
Twilight Sinks Fangs Into US Box Office
Vamp flick posts $70 million opening

Your Comments

To biggreb666 re: 'Monsters vs Aliens'
As I understand how color*-blindness works, it's not truly monochrome vision, but some colors* can't be differentiated. The modern 3D glasses don't use color to separate the Left/Right images, they use gray polarizing filters. You should see the 3D effect just fine. *non British spelling. More

Posted by jayessell at 22:02 on 29 November 2008 | Report This Post

RE: 3D Monsters v Aliens
I don't think that's thick at all. It's a good question and I'd never considered it myself so, intrigued, I checked it out (which, in all fairness, is what you maybe should have done:) and the answer is apparently yes. But there's not too much info on it. Anyway, about the film, loved the trailer so hoping it lives up to that. More

Posted by Gabriel at 23:02 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

Looks familiar
Don't get me wrong. The description of the clips is great and brings back memories of the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam this summer, where a couple of hundred guests saw propably the same clips. The whole 'select audience' and 'world-first look' is therefore a little too much credit too this Empire staff member. More

Posted by Man with Rock at 22:52 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

3D Monsters v Aliens
Might be a bit thick, but will this work for those of us (mainly male) who are colour blind? I can't see any difference with those infernal glasses you need to watch it in 3D! More

Posted by biggreb666 at 22:10 on 24 November 2008 | Report This Post

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)