MEGAMIND Movie Review

MEGAMIND Movie Review

MEGAMIND Movie Review

Megamind benefits from Dreamworks Animation hard won sense of identity. In the decade since Shrek, the studio has curried a puckish, iconoclastic vibe to stand in contrast to their rivals at Disney. Said vibe resembles the Warners ethos, though it a little less crazed more concerned with a clever quip than explosive mayhem. Megamind latches onto that feeling and rides it all the way home: an amiable superhero parody that scores with heart more than imagination.

As far as story goes, it operates under some huge shadows. Pixar The Incredibles still sets the bar for this kind of material, while last summer Despicable Me had the advantage of reaching the market four months ago. (And as cape and tights satire goes, the underrated Mystery Men cuts a mean figure.) Megamind responds with a bright attitude and some very funny gags, riffing on the Superman story as told from the bad guy point of view. The blue skinned Megamind (voiced by Will Farrell) and his arch nemesis Metro Man (voiced by Brad Pitt) both arrive on Earth as infants from a pair of doomed planets. The latter crashes into the living room of a wealthy childless couple and grows up with every advantage. The former lands in the local prison yard, and is raised by a gang of felons. Though he longs for love, everyone expects him to commit acts of evil. So he gives them what they want, aided by his brilliant intellect and a loyal minion named Minion (voiced diamond supply co usa by David Cross). Naturally Metro Man thwarts his efforts at every turn, and thus does the great circle of life continue.

Complications arise when Megamind apparently does his archrival in, leaving all of Metro City in his hands. Initial joy soon gives way to ennui, as he realizes that his yin means nothing without a great big heroic yang to oppose him. He immediately launches a grand scheme to correct the oversight, while haltingly wooing ace reporter Roxie Ritchi (voiced by Tina Fey) in ways that don involve kidnapping her.

Riffs on the Man of Steel come fast and easy, providing a strong backbone for much of the humor. Pitt plays Metro Man like a bone headed Elvis impersonator: preening, self absorbed, but with the right twinkle in his eye and a sense that he doesn take any of it seriously. Farrell performance matches him for navel gazing, but adds considerable self doubt into the mix (his evil schemes are always thwarted, after all; even when he wins, it feels like losing). He loves being evil, but can do it in a vacuum, and eventually tries to create a clone of Metro Man to fill in the gap.

It works largely thanks to the screenplay surface wit and the comedic talents of the actors. Director Tom McGrath compliments it with gorgeous CG imagery: bubbly, upbeat and full of energy. The settings look suitably four color, but retain their own sense of style (a key touch: Minion bears a suspicious resembles to the infamous alien in Robot Monster), and McGrath knows the genre well enough to mock it without needing to single out specific comic book tropes (beyond the aforementioned Supe snipes). In the midst of it, he manages to sneak in a nice little message about being yourself, as Megamind figures out that he doesn have to be evil just because people say he is. It fits smoothly into Dreamworks established formula: tweak the noses of those in charge, remind folks that you can always trust your leaders, and demonstrate the value of marching to your own beat.

In fact, the only time it gets into serious trouble is when it goes against those instincts. Corporate groupthink crops up a little too often for comfort, hedging the film bets when it should be going for broke. The musical choices betray the worst sort of clich ( to the Bone? Really?) and some of the pop culture in jokes feel far too forced. Fluffy entertainment however reliable suffers in years which produce the likes of Toy Story 3, and Megamind really doesn aspire to be anything more. That doesn undo the film reliable assets, however, or prevent its joys from planting a modest smile on your face. Superhero films are sufficiently prevalent these days to merit an additional pasting or two. Megamind keeps such satire a welcome visitor rather than a tiresome bore.

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