MEGAMIND (Tim McGrath, 2010)
What’s a supervillain without a superhero?
In MEGAMIND the eponymous evil genius discovers that he has lost his purpose after defeating his square-jawed nemesis Metro Man. Like Superman, the Will Ferrell-voiced Megamind and Brad Pitt-voiced Metro Man are sent to Earth to escape destruction on their home planets. Their paths diverge when a young Metro Man’s pod lands in a mansion while wee Megamind’s is deposited in a prison.
As adults they square off repeatedly, usually due to Megamind’s abduction of TV reporter Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey), until Megamind bests his foe. Left to indulge his every whim, Megamind loses his zest for evildoing and schemes to create a new hero so he can get his mojo back.
The blue-skinned, wrong syllable emphasizing Megamind is less immediately sympathetic than Gru from this summer’s DESPICABLE ME. Consequentially, it’s harder to laugh at his diabolical antics. Megamind is established as a figure capable of causing real harm. While the film isn’t as dark as it seemingly sets itself up to be, it suffers from the miscalculation of centering a CGI-animated kids film on what appears to be, at least superficially, The Bad Guy.
Naturally, MEGAMIND tries to sweep this under the rug as fast as possible, but the damage has already been done. MEGAMIND is a visually sleek film, especially when viewed in 3-D. The sparkling, futuristic design combines with terrific depth of field to conjure a world in which good and evil do battle in and above the streets, but the look of the film is the main thing going for it.
MEGAMIND is dramatically and comedically inert. It fails to distinguish itself from other tongue-in-cheek superhero and supervillain cartoons mainly because the characters don’t impress as being all that unique. Simply put, MEGAMIND isn’t funny or interesting enough.