Monsters University, (2013)
This squid will be straight honest with you: I started this review back when I saw this flick, which is easily two months prior to posting this review. That said, it doesn’t take eight arms to tell you that the major gap in time between reviews was the direct result of my opinion of this film. This movie was so disturbing and distasteful that it forced me into a deep-sea trench of solitude so low that I nearly imploded from my own pressurized depression.
Now let’s cut to the chase because, like many of you, I really enjoyed Monsters, Inc. and was convinced the idea of a sequel would only seek to “cheapen” the original product. And boy, was I never more right in my life. You can expect from this movie the pretty standard plot you get from your Van Wilder's and Animal House's, so nothing fancy. But within that time-tested “college frat overcomes adversity” tale we get a full injection of that Disney/Pixar “charm,” making it instantly more endearing for families while simultaneously removing any chance for the redeeming glory of nudity or fart jokes. Big blue monster Sully (John Goodman) makes a pretty easy stand-in for Ryan Reynold's “Wilder” and green cyclops Mike (Billy Crystal) is pretty much your “Pinto” analogue for the film. Lather, rinse, repeat. Actually, I'm convinced you could literally swap the audio for either character from each respective movie and the story of Monsters University would still make sense. Shit, I could just give you the gist of the movie’s major conflict in a message and you could probably write me the script in a 140 character tweet.
I’m not quite sure what was meant to be accomplished with this movie’s existence. Not only was it pretty much a cut-and-paste animated film (which is surprising for Pixar) that lifted a majority of its elements from the entire library of the American Pie sequels, but it really added nothing to the development or history of its main characters or universe. Did it matter that Sully and Mike went to college together? Not really. Did we need to know that Mike was a loser before working for Monsters, Inc.? No, because it was already implied in the first film. Did any of the characters or scenarios introduced in this film have any bearing on the enjoyment of Monsters, Inc.? Nope, because only four of them actually make it into that movie, and the rest are never heard from again! Literally everything in this movie is unnecessary, and even the small throwbacks (such as meeting the first film’s villain) didn’t require a 2-hour film to be made.
It’s taken me two long months to sulk over this film and try to convince myself that there had to be a reason it was made, but none of the answers make sense. I think the only people this film was made for were people who never saw Monsters, Inc. Seriously. Because it is only through having never seen the original that you will absolutely and completely enjoy Monsters University. I actually lost interest in the characters and the setting from this movie. Gags are repeated, character arcs are unrelated or re-explored in less constructive ways. But, if you’ve never seen the original, maybe everything will seem fresh and engaging for you! Maybe you’ll want to learn more about the characters! Maybe you’re 5 years old and were born well after the first was out of theaters and released on DVD! Ugh. Monsters University just feels like one giant cash-in that can’t even show the dignity to be ashamed about it. What the hell, Pixar. You left a bad taste in my mouth and scared me away from site for an entire summer of movies.
Don’t see Monsters University unless you really, really want to torture yourself. However, if you’re willing to make that edit with the Animal House or Van Wilder audio tracks, we need to be in touch, because that might warrant a second viewing. This movie might be a lot more enjoyable with John Belushi or Kumar somewhere in it.
All in all, 1 out of 8 tentacles.
P.S. I haven’t seen Planes yet, so yeah….there’s that. This may not be the worst there is after all, but until then I stand by my words.
//pretty sure this is the WORST review I’ve ever seen
“I’m not quite sure what was meant to be accomplished with this movie’s existence.”
You know I actually feel pretty sad for people who watch this movie and didn’t like it, or thought it was bad and want to give it a poor rating, because to me it just means that you have no sense of story or character development and you don’t really care about the characters.
This person goes on to say that they didn’t need to be told that Mike was a loser before he worked at Monsters Inc. because it’s all but stated in MI, and yet, in MU he was one of the top students, he KNEW all the material even if he lacked the actual scare-factor himself. In Monsters Inc., HE’S the one with the girlfriend, who’s happy, and yeah, even though he doesn’t have the same weight as Sulley does, he still gets to enjoy the benefits of being Sulley’s partner.
And seriously, if you watch this movie and can’t understand that the message is clearly trying to tell people that it’s okay to fail, that sometimes the ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ path isn’t the only one, that there are other ways of achieving your goals, even if they’re not what you originally intended, then I’m probably going to judge you as an idiot. I can’t tell you how many times my brother has changed his major since entering college. He thought he knew what he wanted (engineering), but it ended up being too difficult and he’s now happier in something else.
But yeah, reviews like this upset me because I felt that MU was a remarkable film, and Ii honestly enjoyed it better than MI (but only because of MI, if that makes sense).
This review gets a -10/10, seriously.
People, don’t waste your time with this poor person who doesn’t understand a movie clearly targeting people who understand the struggle of college, the passion for your goals, and the frightening realization that sometimes things don’t go according to planned.
Thank you, thank you. If you could see me, you’d know I was smiling.