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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Monsters University review: back of the class

Monsters University yellow light

Monsters, Inc. was in no way calling for a sequel, and here it is.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): not the biggest fan of the first film

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Have you ever wondered how best monster buds Sully (the voice of John Goodman: The Hangover Part III) — he’s the big turquoise furry one — and Mike (the voice of Billy Crystal: Parental Guidance) — he’s the giant chartreuse eyeball one — met? You haven’t? Great: Monsters University will regale you with the tale of how they were roomies at Monsters University, which is just like a human university, complete with jocks and nerds and cool kids and parties and fraternities and an intimidating dean and football and everything. MU the movie is also just like all the other movies about human institutions of higher education you’ve ever seen, too — you will be unsurprised, for instance, to discover that though scare-jock Sully and nerd-boy Mike initially hate each other, they will overcome their natural suspicions and learn how to work together to kick some monster butt in the annual Scare Games. Go team! (You will also be unsurprised to learn that every single character of any significance here is male, because even in movies in which the protagonists are creatures of inhuman blobbiness, it is vitally important to keep girl cooties to a minimum. And no, casting the voice of Helen Mirren [Arthur] as the intimidating dean does not make up for that.) Monsters, Inc. was in no way calling for a sequel, and here it is. The complete lack of suspense about absolutely anything here is more likely a bonus for the very small children for whom this will serve as a big fluffy virtual stuffed animal and electronic babysitter (once it comes to DVD), and the length — nearly two hours when a short would have suited the thin material better — simply means a longer interval before Mom or Dad has to hit Play again.

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Monsters University (2013)
US/Can release: Jun 21 2013
UK/Ire release: Jul 12 2013

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated I: Inoffensive in all possible ways
MPAA: rated G
BBFC: rated U (contains mild slapstick and comic threat)

viewed in 3D
viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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