It was monsters a go-go in London’s West End last night for the UK premiere of the wonderfully-named Monsters Vs Aliens, the latest family-friendly animation to zip off the DreamWorks production line.
Reese Witherspoon, whose character Susan is transformed into the five-storey Ginormica after being hit by an asteroid, was joined on the space-dusted blue carpet by a ginormified version of herself, while a giant blob-like B.O.B. worked the crowd with gelatinous aplomb.
Alongside Ginormica and B.O.B., Monsters Vs Aliens features brilliantly barking B monsters like Insectosaurus, the 350-foot grub, and the scurrying genius of Dr. Cockroach, who are unleashed by the government on intergalactic invader Gallaxhar. With a hundred loving homages to classics like Dr. Strangelove and Bullitt, MvA should be a hit with fanboys and families alike... and all in proscenium-busting 3D.
DreamWorks honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg shrugged off a sore throat to enthuse about the movie and the 3D revolution. “It’s a great script and a good story. I’m very excited because this is the first CG animated movie to have a female lead, and I’ve always wanted to work with Reese,” he said, sounding more than a bit like Barry White. "3D redefines what it is to see a movie in a movie theatre. What could be more exciting?”
Meanwhile, an equally-excited Kiefer Sutherland was adjusting to his first red carpet appearance in many moons. “I’m a bit nervous to be honest. I haven’t seen this many people for a single event in a long time.” Sutrhe said he’d relished the chance to take a break from growly democracy defender Jack Bauer to voice the George C. Scott-channelling General W.R. Monger. “Just to be able to get out of the grind of what 24 can be and spend six hours joking around, laughing, trying to be funny, it was such a breath of fresh air.”
He was quick to give a Bauer-style smackdown to rumours that 24 is heading to the mini-series graveyard. “We approach it one season at a time and we’re very committed to doing the eighth season.”
Kiefer's co-star Reese Witherspoon showed the press pack a clean pair of Louboutin heels, leaving it to co-directors Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon to explain her new-found turn of pace. “We kinda tortured Reese in the recording studio. We made her act out the San Francisco chase scene by running on the spot, screaming. It was like the Reese Witherspoon work-out video by the end - she was exhausted.”
The night’s only disappointment was the alien no-show, although as Sutherland pointed out, they were probably watching on from afar. “I think we’d be very arrogant to think we’re the only beings in the universe.” And with a nervous glance to the skies, he joined the rest of the cast inside the Vue Cinema in rooting for Ginormica and co., while we headed home to check under the bed for stray monsters.