In Dreamworks latest animated spectacle ‘Megamind’ we have a fascinating treatise which examines the long term effects of Nature vs. Nurture, and as such asks the penetrating question can a man raised in a criminal atmosphere from birth overcome his counterproductive societal nurturing and revert back to the theoretical nature of his birth. Or it perhaps it simply asks if you like to see to stuff blow up real good and real colorful-like? I like watching stuff blow up real good. I don’t like wearing a second pair of glasses when I watch movies not made by James Cameron.
Our film opens with Megamind (voiced by Will Farrell) falling from the sky to his death. While that seems perilous don’t worry too much because Megamind will still have plenty of time to tell us a rather lengthy story of how he go into this predicament, starting from virtually his birth. Megaman is from the Alpha Quadrant, which is the defacto term that I call everything that is outer space. Not unlike another hero we are somewhat familiar with the Alpha Quadrant’s sun went belly up but fortunately Megamind’s parents were able to safely tuck their child away in an escape pod, just like the parents of the future Metro Man (Brad Pitt) managed to do with their Alpha Quadrant baby. Crashing into Metro City one would be nurtured into a hero while the other would be nurtured into a villain as their life long battle between good and evil would commence.
While Metro Man would win the majority of these battles, i.e., all of them, but one day while holding the spunky reporter Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey) hostage, a strange thing happened. Megaman finally wins and in a big way. I’m talking like a Kryptonite bullet to the heart kind of way. Initially this seemed kind of cool to Megamind and his right hand man Minion (David Cross) but soon Megamind has discovered that with the absence of Metro Man his Ying has lost its Yang or to quote Billy Dee Williams from Mahogany, ‘Success is nothing without someone to share it with’. Personally I think sharing is overrated but we will move on.
Another strange thing happens to Megamind for in his depressed state he has found a soul mate in Roxanne the spunky reporter and a romance is sparked. Of course she thinks he’s Bernard, the geeky curator of the Metro Man museum, but what’s a little deception between young lovers?
What Megamind needs is another hero around to challenge him intellectually so that he can get his mojo back and as such he creates Titan (Jonah Hill) out the DNA remnants of Metro Man! Note that Lex Luthor did this very same thing in the putrid ‘Superman 4’ to equally disastrous results. Anyways, in addition to being a complete idiot, Titan turns out to be a worse villain than Megamind was even on his worst day and now Metro City is burning with the only hope for its survival being the broken hearted evil mastermind with the big blue head. Animated things will blow up real good and colorful-like.
I guess the best thing we can do for ‘Megamind’, which was completely acceptable if not stellar family entertainment, is just avoid comparing it to the similar ‘Despicable Me’ which was marginally better, or another superhero themed CGI animated movie in ‘The Incredibles’ which is probably one of the best movies ever made, animated or otherwise… so we are not going to do that. Admittedly ‘Despicable Me’ achieved its superiority over ‘Megamind’ by mercilessly manipulating its audience with some impossibly cute CGI kids, but regardless, it was better.
‘Megamind’ achieves its success on a pretty clever concept of a villain with no hero to fight and it milks that concept for all its worth. Will Farrell lent his voice to good use for the character of Megamind but not unlike a live action Will Farrell film the movie does have its stretches where it’s trying to be funny but it’s not really succeeding at being funny. However even while ‘Megamind’ wasn’t consistently funny it was consistently clever with its use of dialog and props and the little elements going on in the background. In fact if I can get me a real life version of one of those ‘No You Can’t’ political posters I’d be a happy man.
It also works as an action movie with all of its car chases and exploding buildings and flying superhero battles and whatnot. If I was a six-year-old I might be a little scared of all the glowing red eyes and watching some of our characters seemingly die in some rather horrible ways leading to life changing nightmares but I’m not six so I’m good with that.
‘Megamind’ is some fairly solid entertainment with its good voice acting, and great animation, though I refused to see it in 3D, and explosive action. No, it’s as funny as I think it would’ve liked to have been and it also might be a little too intense for the real little ones, but still some good family style entertainment.