November 5, 2010
Review - " Megamind " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Fey's the Lois Lane stand-in as TV reporter Roxanne Ritchi, perpetually the focus of Megamind's attempts to ensnare Metro
Man. Hill's a geeky cameraman who's in love with Roxanne and later becomes a new menace to Metro City as Megamind
tries to fashion him into a replacement superhero after he actually vanquishes Metro Man. However, this plan fails when
Titan takes a liking to being a villain. That forces Megamind to ponder the unthinkable: Can he become the superhero that
Metro City really needs?
With the smart, capable Roxanne, Fey delivers a real performance full of genuine tics and temperament, as opposed to the
mostly caricatured vocals her male co-stars provide. Pitt doesn't have a huge role here, so he's not exactly memorable in it;
it's more the idea of this seemingly perfect, all-American hero being pitted (no pun intended) against the likes of Ferrell that
makes the star voice casting stunt work. David Cross fares better as Megamind's lifelong cohort, Minion, while Jonah Hill
nicely plays Titan as more of a wounded kid who is lashing out rather than as simply evil.
The Krypton connection continues as Ferrell does a mildly amusing riff on Marlon Brando as Superman's raspy dad from
Christopher Reeves' first "Superman" flick.
Mildly amusing is the pattern throughout "Megamind." The patter is a bit witty, the schemes are sort of crafty. But nothing in
the story or dialogue ever leaps out and grabs you.
Not so the images. The movie's 3-D version bursts off the screen, sometimes distractingly as vehicles, explosions, even
smashed buildings are hurled into viewers' faces. The 3D is well done, and the animation and sound design are both top-
notch. This is a great-looking (and sounding) toon, one definitely worth seeing in 3D, but it's ultimately the story,
characters and humor that makes Megamind such a pleasanty diversion. It may not be as effective as The Incredibles, but
it's a fun comic book parody that offers its own clever, satirical take on the genre.
The most impressive thing about "Megamind" is the city itself, a richly detailed skyline of steely skyscrapers. The dizzying
heights are so authentic in 3-D that some of the mid-air action sequences bring on a faint sense of vertigo.
While DreamWorks’ Megamind is diverting enough, it breaks no new ground and doesn’t have the emotional resonance of
Pixar movies. It’s more like a Chinese meal you enjoy but end up hungry again an hour later, perhaps even forgetting you
had dinner at all.
While I’m comparing, I might as well mention that Megamind works fine as surface entertainment but I saw a missed
opportunity for it to move viewers on a deeper level the way Pixar movies can. Megamind struggles with his image and
outsider status, themes most of us can relate to, but the filmmakers merely do a gloss job on these matters. It’s okay
to strive to only entertain, but playing it safe keeps the movie decidedly earthbound instead of blasting its appeal into infinity
Directed by: Tom McGrath
Starring: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt,Jonah Hill, David Cross
The latest action comedy from DreamWorks Animation, "Megamind"
features dazzling computer-animated design and action. Yet despite a
clever hook — what's a villain to do when he manages to defeat his
superhero nemesis? — it's a thin story that feels familiar and unfolds
with no surprises.
The movie offers an amiably goofy voice cast led by Will Ferrell, Brad
Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, whose wisecracks are cute if not terribly
Director Tom McGrath ("Madagascar" and its sequel) and screenwriters
Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons aim to keep the pace moving as fast
as a speeding bullet as blue, bulbous-headed Megamind (Ferrell)
battles superpowered hero Metro Man (Pitt) for control of Metro City.
The story borrows liberally from "Superman" as both Megamind and
Metro Man begin as infants on distant, dying worlds, dispatched to Earth
in space pods. Metro Man lands in a loving foster home, while Megamind
gets dumped among prison inmates, setting him on his evil path and
creating his rivalry with his heroic foe. In terms of backwards
superheroes, Will Farrell's Megamind ranks right up there -
Misunderstood, brilliantly smart, and neon blue, the alien who fell to
Earth just wants to be loved.