Megamind is the latest animated 3D offering from DreamWorks Animation studios. It is cute and clever, but it has the disadvantage of coming out after Despicable Me, another animated film that was released earlier this year. Ultimately, that leaves Megamind feeling a bit stale and not particularly original, but it should provide for a fine family night out at the movies.
Will Ferrell is well cast as the voice of Megamind, a villain who has gone toe to toe with his nemesis “Metro Man” (voiced by Brad Pitt) for decades. They have been vying for bragging rights over Metro City, the place they both call home.
A charming opening sequence shows a flashback of the two characters as infants, when they were sent to earth (separately) from other planets. Metro Man is embraced as a gift from the gods by his surrogate parents, and is blessed with the chiseled good looks of a movie star. He grows up adored and admired by all who come in contact with him.
In stark contrast, Megamind grows up misunderstood and under-appreciated in a prison, saddled with a bulbous head and blue coloring. His only friend is a minion (David Cross) who is sent to earth with him. Megamind was not always a villain; it is only after getting beat down time after time by his peers that he embraces his inner evil. It becomes his coping mechanism of sorts.
So the two adversaries routinely clash, with Metro Man usually emerging as the victor. One day Megamind actually lucks into destroying Metro Man. It’s a dream come true, or so it seems. But after months of wielding his fist over the cowering city, he realizes that he is bored without his old nemesis. What fun is it to never be challenged?
He concocts a plan to create a new superhero, and chooses a hapless cameraman (Jonah Hill) to transform into Titan. Unfortunately, Titan’s ego quickly gets the best of him, and he chooses to use his powers for evil. So, will Megamind change his dastardly ways and come to Metro City’s rescue? A cute reporter Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey) worms her way into Megamind’s heart, furthering complicating his crisis of conscience.
The film has some clever pop culture references that will keep the adults happy, and a running gag is that Megamind (despite being brilliant) is constantly mispronouncing words. Metro Man’s cult of celebrity is a nod to our celebrity obsessed society. He embraces the “act” of being a hero, parading around at town gatherings and hamming it up for his adoring masses.
The 3D looks good, but the film was a bit dim for my liking. I kept taking my glasses off, longing for a bit of brightness. The film should play great in 2D, if not better, because the colors will pop a bit more.
Megamind is an amusing, solid movie that is immediately forgotten once you leave the multi-plex, but you could do far worse with your family entertainment budget. Kids will love it.