Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movie Review: Megamind

Director: Tom McGrath 
Screenwriter: Alan Schoolcraft, Brent Simons 
Starring: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, J.K. Simmons, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Tom McGrath 
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family 
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and some language) 
Official Website: 

So Here’s What The Film Is About…
Megamind is Earth’s most intelligent and evil super-villain the world has ever known.  However, with all his intelligence, failure and predictability seems to take center stage when Megamind tries to bring down the hero of Metro City, Metro Man!  But when Megamind actually defeats the Metro City’s golden boy, civilians fear for their safety.

Sure it was fun for some time, but Megamind finds himself without purpose in the gilded chair of dictatorship.  So, to free himself of this boredom, he seeks out a new arch enemy to challenge him!  But things take a turn for the worst and Megamind soon discovers that he may not be as “evil” as he thought.

And Here’s What I Thought About It…
Remember the old Looney Tunes shorts with Wile E. Coyote and the road runner? Wile was always setting traps for the bird and failing, unintentionally putting himself in harms way and never learning his lesson.  Megamind and Wile E. Coyote share a similar heritage of failure and getting hit one too many times in the head.

But slapstick doesn’t take control of this film’s intentions as the morality tale of nature vs. nurture bursts out at you almost from the get-go. The question of destiny comes into play here, and with Metro man gone, the thrill of being the “villain” has lost its flavor and Megamind needed to find someone else to counter his evil ways.  Shocking, I know, but nothing can be further from the truth as I’m sure most of us can relate to this sentimentality.  Is destiny preordained by a higher being, or do personal choices dictate the life you lead?  Was Megamind meant to be evil, or did he choose to be so?  Granted he did have a hard childhood, but ultimately the path he went down was of his own making.

But an issue  just as big as the sensation of losing one’s self-worth arises in this film…When the good guy is gone, Megamind has his way with the city.  The people simply allow this to occur and never retaliate, and the U.S. Army never comes in to save the day.  Why did the people give up and just hand over their city without so much as a angry and judgmental fist shake?  Far too often do we expect someone else to save the day when, in reality, superheroes don’t exist. 

But here we are, blasted with the idea that good and evil are mutual companions that can’t live without each other.  And Megamind takes it upon himself to make another superhero to champion Metro City as a way of upholding his childhood fantasy.  But when his creation doesn’t meet his expectations, Megamind discovers something about himself that no one knew existed…he developed a conscious.

And thus begins our understanding for the reason of the blue skin tone color choice.  Megamind talks the big “gonna take over the world” talk, but deep down inside he is a scared creature who would be justified in picking up a Les Paul, taking a seat in a city corner and singing his troubles away for the whole city to hear.  What follows is the realization that everything Megamind does is a reflection of his inner feelings.  Even the mighty-morphin’ watch, which allows Megamind to change his physical appearance, becomes more than just a means of escaping a high-security prison and is used as a ploy to win the affections of the woman of his dreams.

After all the plot developments, all the cheesy, touchy-feely moments of self-discovery and facing one’s inner demons, we are left with a truly moving film that tells a familiar and all too predictable story in a refreshing way. 

Ok, ok, I’ve gone a little over board on the emotional impact the film had on me personally; maybe I should dive right into the talents that went into the film’s success.  The comedic team of Tina Fey and Will Ferrell was better than I could have imagined.  Fey’s quirky, yet clever comedy blended in well behind Ferrell’s over-the-top (and over acted) comedic delivery.  I have to be honest; Will Ferrell isn’t as annoying to me anymore.  Keep him in the voice actor’s chair and I think I’ll be good for the rest of my film enthusiast life span.

As a comic book nerd, I had one of the bigger nerdgasms of my life, utilizing comic book inspirations stemming from Superman to the X-Men.  Even if this movie had been a complete and utter waste of time, I would still love it due to that superhero nitch. 

I was disappointed by how predictable the story was.  I have trouble watching a film when I can line out the entire plot thread before the premise is even established.  But then I have to remember that my pre-conceived notions of what a film needs to be like often dictate my opinion, so I laid it aside for one night.  While I’m still unhappy with the overused plot found in Megamind, Director Tom McGrath was able to keep the film fun, clever, and thought-provoking.  Hats off to you sir.

Yes parents, this is rated PG.  But fear not, for the bulk of the parental guidance will only stem as far as making sure your kids understand that hitting someone is not ok.  Are there swear words?  Not that I recall.  But I do remember a little bit of name calling and seedy pick-up lines used by obsessed camera nerds. Nothing to worry about though, it’s all very playful AND established as obviously wrong and immoral.  Overall, this isn’t any different from any other animated film that’s come out in the last few years. 

It’s predictable, it’s cheesy, and its relentlessly over the top with Will Ferrell’s typical comedic delivery…but it’s still worth going to see.  3D technology once again waves its ugly and bewitching hand at me, but I caved this time around and allowed Dreamworks to show me what they had. Rating: 8 out of 10 stars.

1 comment:

  1. There's not much depth in the story. Sure, it's a movie that kids will definitely dig. It has appealing characters, dazzling visuals, and amusing humor to keep them on their seats. However, it might not be the same for discerning adults, the part of the audience that's able to make criticisms. Also, it's quite unoriginal. The material was something I've encountered before. They had the chance to beef it up and make it unique, but they failed to tap a different angle. The plot was predictable for me, and that let me down real bad. Anyway, I made a full Megamind review in my blog. If you want, you can check it out and the rest of my entries. Thanks!