16 Nov

Title: Megamind
Tom McGrath
Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons
Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, Brad Pitt, Justin Long, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, J.K. Simmons, Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux
MPAA Rating:
PG, action and some language
96 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
Rotten Tomatoes:


So far, 2010 has been a pretty amazing year for animation, Toy Story 3 was yet another masterpiece from Pixar, Universal made its mark with the very good Despicable Me and DreamWorks kicked off the year with the awesome How to Train Your Dragon, and they’re at it again now with Megamind. So yes, just look at those four titles and you’ll have to agree that it’s seriously sad that this year the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars will be limited to just three nominations because too few films were eligible for the nods.

This also marked the first film the amazing Guillermo del Toro worked on as part of his deal at DreamWorks Animation, and which saw him come on as an executive producer and help out a bit in the editing process, and the del Toro-Dreamworks relationship is one I’m interested in seeing developing because it’s certainly full of amazing potential. But anyways, Megamind is a very good film, I would call it the lesser one out of the 4 I mentioned before, but it still is pretty good. The voice cast especially is outstanding, these are all huge A-list actors doing a terrific job at embodying their characters. And even though the plot points are all recycled from other films, the graphics more than make up for it, since, visually, Megamind is just really fun to watch.

As I said, the plot is not the most original one you’ll ever see, but the pacing of Megamind is very appealing, not to mention that the cast does an amazing job delivering the many witty lines that make this one just plain entertaining. And what’s good is that this one does what all of the good animated films do, which is provide entertainment not just for the kiddie crowd, but also for the adult demographic. Because ,while the kids will get a crack out of the sillier jokes and goofy demeanor of some of the characters, the grown-ups will enjoy the level achieved in the visuals and the rad witticisms employed by the characters which include some smart political and social references. I think that what prevented me from liking Megamind much more was the fact that there had already been an animated film focussing on the villain this year, and, personally, I liked Despicable Me better.

The location is Metro City and we get to meet Megamind, the Will Ferrell character, who was destined to always square it off with Metro Man, the Brad Pitt character, who hailed from the same planet as him and became the good-doing nemesis to his arch-villain. The mortal girl of the story is Roxanne, the Tina Fey character, a local TV reporter close to Metro Man who works with her cameraman Hal, voiced by the awesome Jonah Hill, and who’ll also play a big part in our story.

So yes, the story very much resembles parts of other films we’ve seen before, The Incredibles comes to mind, another obvious inspiration was the Superman mythology, since the apparent inspiration for the film was the hypothetical question of “What if Lex Luthor won?” and the origins of Metro Man and Megamind resemble those of Clark Kent, and, as I’ve already said, Despicable Me also pops up in our heads quite a bit. The fact that Megamind’s sidekick, voiced by a seriously awesome David Cross, is named Minion, much like the adorable little sidekicks to Gru in Despicable Me doesn’t help make its case for originality.

But this has enough going on for itself to be a great film on its own right, and that’s mostly because of the actors it got to play the main roles, Tina Fey really gives it her all as Roxanne, and Will Ferrell’s voice we know can be seriously loud and egomaniacal, which bodes well for the Megamind role, even though, to be honest, while Will Ferrell’s comedic qualities are on full display Megamind doesn’t really sound like Mr. Ferrell. Not to mention that the social commentary works here, about how people revere superheroes, about the media frenzy surrounding celebrities. And we get to see what happens to the villain when he successfully eradicates the good guy, becoming bored when he has no one to be bad to that can actually stop him.

The little nods to the Superman mythology were definitely appreciated by a comic geek like me, that and the fact that both of their costumes were definitely inspired by the costume of DC’s Captain Marvel, there’s even a little Superman reference done when Megamind morphs into Brando. Those little kudos to the man of steel made me happy while I watched Megamind. That and the fact that I love how Mr. Ferrell and Mr. Cross played their deviant characters, and how Ms. Fey and Mr. Hill embodied theirs, Mr. Pitt wasn’t as amazing a voice actor, but he’s still Brad Pitt, and he would pass for a superhero even when mumbling. Megamind is a very entertaining film, that’s all you need to know, the visuals are great and so is the voice cast, and yeah, the story may be a bit too recycled, but hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? This is still prime entertainment, and you should all go check it out.

Grade: B+


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