Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Animated, Action/Adventure
Opens Friday, November 5th, 2010, Rated PG
Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, David Cross, and Jonah Hill
Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar)
Megamind is the latest 3D animated movie from DreamWorks, home of the Shrek films, Kung Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon, and Madagascar movies. With a brilliant premise starring a brilliant evil mastermind genius, the movie is far from brilliant itself. A satisfying and smart movie, Megamind is sure to be a hit with the kids, as well as adults. It's just not that funny, a huge letdown considering the comedic talent of the main voice actors.
The Plot. Megamind (Ferrell) and his counterpart, Metro Man (Pitt), have similar origins, both being sent away from their dying planet at birth (much the same as Superman). But Megamind's bad luck begins almost immediately, while Metro Man experiences nothing but the best. As they both land on Earth, they learn they have different gifts: Metro Man is basically Superman, with super-human strength, the ability to fly and shoot lasers from his eyes. Megamind wasn't given these same gifts, but was given a superb intellect. As they grow, Metro Man becomes the perfect citizen and hero of Metro City, with Megamind his arch-villain and fierce rival.
The brilliance of the plot is that it takes tried and true comic book and super-hero institutions and smartly turns them on their head (no pun intended). Megamind, of course and despite his brilliance, is destined to fail, as Metro Man continually saves the day. Even the heroine, reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Fey), gets bored when she is abducted, predicting each and every trick Megamind has up his sleeve. They seem to go through the same song and dance over and over...that is, until Megamind actually defeats Metro Man...So, the film asks.....what is a villain to do now?
Head Scratcher. So without a nemesis, Megamind is lost. What's the point in being evil if there is no good to do battle with? Being a big comic book and fan of the super-hero genre, I was very impressed with the smarts and the inside jokes peppered throughout the film. In an odd sort of way though, the movie is good without being very funny. You would think stars like Will Ferrell and Tina Fey would be recognizable, and that this may be "another Will Ferrell movie", but you completely lose sight of the voice actors, or at least I did.
Much to Admire. Adults will appreciate the many jokes and references that are too dated for a younger audience. There is a lot of action, and explosions that may frighten some children, but the tone of the movie is never dark, and always playful. The best parts of the movie come when Megamind first defeats Metro Man, and doesn't know what to do with himself, or even how to terrorize his new city. Here is also a 3D movie worth seeing in 3D...it looks great without being cheesy or deliberate.
Bottom Line. The 2 kids (a boy and girl) that I saw the movie with equally loved it, but when I asked the boy to tell me his favorite part of the movie, he said, "um...there weren't really that many funny parts." That about sums it up. Sometimes you appreciate a good idea, but it often doesn't lend itself to a full feature. Who knows though, Megamind will surely lead the box office this week, and is ripe for sequels (there has to be new and improved heroes out there that can challenge Megamind's villainy).
Megamind surely was an interesting concept, but one delivered with the clumsiness and misdirection of an evil villain, never bound to really win.
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