I'm not the target audience for this film, and however charming it comes across, it's still pretty formulaic, and in this way fairly insulting. Mom gets the fifty-foot woman treatment, who is then induced into a struggle she didn't want and isn't much prepared for.
How about letting dad get the gigantism treatment, or junior, or sis, or Fido?
To me this film smacks of "Mars needs moms", just with a slightly different story to it. As a Bay Area denizen it was kind of neat seeing the SF Bay Area getting to star as a backdrop once more. Toss in Modesto, Fresno, and maybe even Lodi and the state capitol or Sacramento, and you got my childhood and university years all wrapped up.
It's a witty film, but it's predictable to a fault. Mom gets zapped into monster funkyness, and gets paired up with unlikely critters to save the world. The truth is your average "love America" mom would probably get recruited by the NSA and teamed up with crazy smart and strong people who were also recruited by the feds to tackle some threat. That's the allegory.
Does it work? I'm not so sure. I can't remember the last time I saw a tall handsome strong dude get to be the hero. What, no since the 1950s or something. That's an important observation because those people exist, usually in the form of fire fighters or law enforcement. To me the "unlikely hero" is so cliché as to be insulting and expectant. "Wow, I bet you never guessed MOM would be the hero … HUH?!?!" Well, yeah, I did.
Still, for all that, it has a kind of charm to it, but I'm just burnt out on empowerment of women themes and unlikely hero themes being shoe horned into CGI extravaganzas. So much so that I simply can't take it anymore. Ergo, I do not recommend this film.
I would give it one star, but like so much "empower females and unlikely hero" movies, it is technically competent, even if the toll booth at the SF End of the Golden Gate wasn't rendered … at least Market, Kearny, Geary and Van Ness got some cameos.
If I see one more "mom's the hero, nerd, geeks and oddballs unite!" film, I'll puke my guts out.
There are better movies out there.