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Simon’s Rating: 7/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.0/10
(2 reviews total)
Megamind is by all intents and purposes a “Will Ferrell” movie boasting bizarre rambling sequences and low-brow slapstick. It contains about as many chuckles as his earlier action comedy The Other Guys and is about as clever in its genre-skewering — timely, but far from radical. Like Robin Williams’ The Genie in Aladdin, it is clear a significant amount of ad-libbing was conducted by its comedic cast and sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, it breaks the movie free from more conventional confines.
Because this is a superhero satire, this DreamWorks effort will draw understandable comparisons to Pixar’s The Incredibles and especially Despicable Me, released just this year. Though tackling the same genre with a wink and a nod, Megamind does not evoke that many similarities when the smaller details are examined, but at the same time it seems to suffer from that quality. What I’m getting at is it seems like this kind of parody has had its day and there simply is not that much left to say.
During its initial conception, Megamind (or Oobermind as it was called at the time) boasted a far juicier premise where a villainous super-genius accidently kills his heroic nemesis and subsequently finds nothing to live for. Robert Downey Jr. was slated in the role of the slain hero and had those darker roots been explored, Megamind could have had some real fangs, instead of just a fresh pair of dentures.
Like Jim Carrey’s foray into animation with Horton Hears a Who! Will Ferrell brings a lively performance to the titular supervillain, employing a somewhat jesting parody of his normal spiel. The rest of the cast which includes Tina Fey as a news reporter, Jonah Hill as the morally ambiguous Hal and Brad Pitt as the all-American Metro Man are far less successful. While all undoubtedly talented individuals, their bland interchangeable voices do not do the film justice. Fey and Hill are physical comedians (at least in the way they look/present themselves) as much as they are inherently clever and those qualities are useless in an animated feature. As is the norm in these types of offerings, a goofy sidekick is utilized, though goofy gives way to the bizarre for “Minion” (a hilarious David Cross) a robot/gorilla/fish creature reminiscent of “Brain” in 2008’s Igor. I look forward to the day where the inclusion of such as superfluous character is forgone.
Thankfully the theatre to which I normally travel seems to always offer films without a 3D option, so I did not see Megamind in the extra dimension and thankfully was able to avoid its associated surcharge. The animation is crisp and bright and like Despicable Me or Toy Story 3, I see few areas in which 3D could have added to the experience. The director of this effort (Tom McGrath) previously helmed two popular DreamWorks features Madagascar and Madagascar 2, which are two of my least favorite animated offerings from the past decade. The same fingerprint is evident here and makes it a lesser offering from the burgeoning studio though a sharper script helps to iron over some of the more major wrinkles.
For fun, wholesome family entertainment this is far from a bad film in any sense. Kids will no doubt love the goofy characters and more broad comedy while adults will find enough to smile about in the way of subtle superhero in-jokes from the ’80s. After the triple surprise that was Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me, Megamind seems more of a bland, stock offering at each more penetrating level of critique. But just because the bar has been raised a little higher than in previous years by no means diminishes this bubbly diversion in terms of precisely that.
Directed by: Tom McGrath
Written by: Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simmons
Starring: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, David Cross
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Dinah thought: “In recent years animated filmmaking has gone from a genre strictly for children to a category enjoyable for adults as well. This was early seen in films such as Shrek and basically every Pixar movie ever made. A good animated picture nowadays can keep both grownups and kids entertained seamlessly. Megamind is not that sort of film. The subject matter is slightly adult while the execution leans overwhelmingly towards children. A central theme of the Will Ferrell centered movie is on spurned love, a subject children won’t relate to. Also, a running gag featuring a Godfatherimpression will go over any kid’s head. Still typical gags featuring overwhelming immaturity will be amusing to kids and kids alone. ” Rating: 5/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 6.0//10