I haven't done a movie review in a zillion months, so....
If you are like me, (and when I say 'like me', I mean your mom didn't let you read the children's book) and you don't know the storyline, here's the gist...
Max is a wild boy who just needs an active, imaginative outlet. Unfortunately, he's usually left alone, causing him to create intricate worlds to escape to.
Some may think he just needs a good spankin', but really all he wants is attention. Even saying, "hold on a minute sweetie" would suffice, at least he would be acknowledged.
On an exceptionally bad day for Max, he and his mom have a fight. In a fit of rage, he bites his mother, but before he realizes what he's done, his mom throws him to the ground, yelling. He's completely terrified and upset (c'mon people, he didn't mean to) and runs out the door.
Now call it imagination or reality, Max finds a boat and sails to a distant island where he encounters a group of massive, really freaky, monsters. As they close in to eat this strange creature, Max thinks fast, and with an authoritative tone yells, "Be Still!!" After which, he convinces the group he is a king from a faraway land with many terrible powers.
That was as far as the story book went. Jonze picks it up by adding character development.
These monsters are unhappy, and have been for awhile. That was why a king sounded like a good idea, someone to make them happy again.
The monsters themselves are amazing. If you compare these to the those in the actual book, the resemblance is ridiculously accurate!
They look super real, and seriously terrifying in some scenes.
What I liked most about the film though, was the lessons for Max.
- just because you don't understand someone, doesn't mean they can't be your friend
- playing rough isn't always the safest game
- to forgive people who hurt him
and a bunch more. He grew up so fast, observing the problems these monsters had.
How awesome is this photo below. I like Spike Jonze even more for this.
Some won't get it. My mom thought he was a bratty kid, annoying and wild. I loved it. It was every little kid's dream to run around screaming, destroying stuff, bangin' into eachother, laughing, and crashing in a pile.
One last thing. I thought it was quite funny that the dvd box for this movie appears to have met a Wild Thing in the rental process.