Posted by: Michelle Knoll | April 10, 2009

“Monsters vs. Aliens” — A Movie Review

Well, as luck would have it, my younger son wanted to see the new movie that came out last week, “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

I had heard that it was a pretty lame movie, that it moved slow, and that the plot sounded more like dumb Saturday morning cartoon fodder.  So I wasn’t all that excited about sitting in the theater for that much time on something that wouldn’t be all that great.  But my son wanted to go, so we went.  Don’t people do a lot of things because of their kids?

Well, let me tell you, God once again showed up to give me an important lesson.  It’s amazing to me that He teaches me so many things, through kids’ movies.  But He does.

Now for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m gonna give some details, so this is your official “spoiler warning.”  So consider yourself warned, hee hee…

Enter Susan.  She is about to step into an exciting phase of her life, and the joy on her face is unmistakable.  She’s been dreaming of this day, and her thoughts are all about her future, and how wonderful it’s gonna be, how beautiful the world is, etc.  She is on “cloud nine” and she hopes to remain there.

Next, enter an asteroid.

Unfortunately, this asteroid and Susan collide. But she is not harmed.  She is “infected” with this material.  And no one else notices the asteroid, so no one else is concerned.  I don’t think even Susan knew “what hit her.”

Well, soon after that it becomes pretty obvious to everyone else that something — SOMETHING — has happened to Susan, and no one knows what to think.  The soldiers are called in to take care of the situation, and Susan is carried away.

So life suddenly changes for Susan.  Drastically.  Dramatically.  Permanently.

And suddenly, I saw the underlying theme of the whole movie, which is this:

What do you do, and how will you handle it, when life is suddenly altered, and there’s no way to go back to where you were?  When your life is suddenly and completely changed, what will it do to you, especially when your life is changed without warning and without your consent?  Will you still be able to see your future?  Will you still believe that you HAVE a future?  And how will you handle that future?

What happened to Susan could happen to any of us, at any time.  Not necessarily by way of an asteroid, but through the economy, or through terrible events of nature, or through war… so many things.  And are we going to be strong enough to withstand the change, and move on?  Will we have enough presence of mind, enough faith, enough belief in ourselves, to adjust positively to our new situation?  Will we be able… to keep going?

I was stunned at how strong the theme was throughout the whole movie.  And there was a point when Susan could have gone back to her former life.  She had the opportunity, but she realized that if she did that, she would have missed her real calling.  And so, making the ultimate decision, she decided to stay in her new environment, and become the new Susan.

I am amazed at how much this story resembles the story of Joseph in the Old Testament.  Taken out of his everyday life, that held promise for him, he was thrust into situation after situation that required him to change and adapt, reorder his thinking, and… keep going.  And when he was released from prison, it was only for one reason: to accept his real, true calling.  He could have said, “No! I wanna go home!”  However, deep in his heart, he knew: do what he could do for others, or be selfish and think only of himself.  So Joseph, in essence, gave up his life, gave up what he wanted, in order to save others.

And so did Susan.

There.  Did I spoil the movie too much for ya?  Did I tell you too much of the plot?  Yes, there is some quirky Saturday morning humor in it, and my older son tells me that there are some political jabs in some of the comments, but I totally passed over those, even though I heard them.

Go see the movie.  Go see it, and watch how Susan struggles and then accepts her new life.  And then ask yourself: what if I was placed in a similar position?  Would I be able to do as well?  Would I be able to keep going, leaving my old life that I loved?  Would I be able to “leave it all behind”?

Well, isn’t that what Jesus said, when He said, “Take up your cross, and follow me”?

I think so.

The adventure doesn’t start, until you leave the past behind.

See you at the theaters.

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