Sunday, June 29, 2014

'MONSTERS UNIVERSITY' Movie Review

Welcome to my review of 'Monsters University'.
Ever since hearing about this and after the successful and enjoyable time I had with 'Monsters Inc' I could not wait to hear a brand new story taken in the monster world.

'Monsters University' is directed by Dan Scanlon and it features the voices of actors like John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi and Helen Mirren.
It's safe to say (as a grown up 25 year old lover of Pixar movies) I waited anxiously to see this like a
kid on Christmas day. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I grew up watching Monsters Inc and the Toy Story franchise that the Pixar love is a part of my life blood and always will be.
Monsters University is the prequel to Monsters Inc. It tells the tale of Mike(Billy Crystal) and Sulley(John Goodman) and how they first met as rivals at their university. They are both part of the scaring program and after getting involved in an incident their futures depend on a wager to become and prove they are the best scarers in the university.

First thing to say about this about this film is that it looks great. We are welcomed back into the glorious monster world that we loved so much in the first film with a larger scope and variety of monsters and locations. With the amount of monsters involved here it creates a colourful set in almost every scene. Pixar's creative department did an excellent job in spending the time to think of a new set of monsters to go along with the university setting and they picked the right monsters to take on certain roles. I'm happy to see that Mike and Sulley are back because they make an excellent duo. Characters such as Johnny Worthington(Nathan Fillion), Dean Hardscrabble(Helen Mirren) and Professor Knight(Alfred Molina) all play their parts very well and with them in the picture it is able to create the extra atmospheric presence that we are attending a school, without them it wouldn't be so believable. What is a small shame is that Randall(Steve Buscemi) is seen a lot less here, I would love to have seen more of his character develop into the character we were used to in the first one.

Next thing is that the story isn't completely original. We've all seen it before, the underdogs want to achieve great success, they compete against the best and out of all odds they push through and everything is ok (so to speak). Seeing that Pixar is all about originality and their past work have blown us away I don't see why the story team decided to take this route. I understand it's a fitting story to climb up the ladder of school society but it's all too much the same that certain things were expected. I'm not saying it isn't fun, it's completely enjoyable I just wish more effort would have been done here.
However(and I use 'however' very strongly here), the direction the movie takes about two thirds into the movie was something that I did not expect to see. Ideas and stuff like this is what we love about Pixar movies. Having our beloved characters get placed in a dangerous position where we genuinely feel afraid of their wellbeing. If the entire movie were like the last third of the movie then it would've easily been my favourite film of the year. Maybe next time.
Monsters University is a fantastic movie that can be seen over and over again without getting bored. Even I see it on a regular basis ever since purchasing it once it was released. I will always love the characters in this monster world however I believe this film could've added a bit more risk into the story and less repetition.

My rating for 'Monsters University' is an 8/10.


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