In the years before they were top scarers at Monsters Inc, Mike and Sully (Billy Crystal and John Goodman) were freshmen at Monsters University. When they enrol on their scaring course, it seems they may not have all it takes.
While it the need for a prequel to Monsters Inc is arguable, you can’t deny that Monsters University is at least welcome. Then again, the triumph of Inc was so great, it’s almost setting yourself up to fail to try and match it. But maybe that’s being too harsh. One thing we can be certain of and that is that I was exponentially more excited about this film than any ten year old. I’ve literally been waiting for this film longer than most children have been alive.
What we’re not short of here is laughs. Don’t lie, you laugh more than the kids at this. The jokes are aimed directly at those who were the primary demographic for the first film and who have now grown up and are in university. While obviously suitable for children, it’s hard not to admit that the plethora of university stereotypes and college campus jokes floating about are simply sailing over the munchkins’ little heads and straight into our hungry laughing mouths. Ok so that metaphor got away from me a little there. Perhaps I missed out on a couple of giggles (me and the rest of the cinema) due to the fact that this here is England not the sorority down at Delta Kappa Phi. Seriously Americans, what the hell is with all the frat stuff you guys get up to?
But what we are short of, or perhaps simply weak on, is plot. Not that there is no driving motivation for the whole film – there is – it’s just that it’s a little hand-me-down-y from all the bajillion other college campus comedies we’ve watched growing up. This is true for the first three quarters of the film at least; the final thrust is a brilliant touch which rounds off the whole film nicely. Yet it’s a departure from Pixar form to leave all the good plot writing till the end, I was a little surprised at the rather meh nature of the body of the film.
If you’re looking for all the old characters and excellently written humour to match, this is definitely your bag. If you’re hellbent on seeing a drama of operatic proportions which will rivet you into your seat, then you might want to look elsewhere. This is good, perhaps really good, but not excellent. It’s heaps of fun and if you don’t take your kids it is tantamount to child abuse, but don’t go pinning all your unfulfilled childhood hopes on this.