Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews
- Category: Jacqueline Monahan
- Published on 05 November 2010
- Written by Jacqueline Monahan
Las Vegas Round The Clock
Megamind in 3D
He’s got a big, blue alien head full of brain power, and he’s thin as a string bean. As an infant his parents sent him off of a dying planet to a new life on earth, (along with a sidekick named Minion (David Cross, voice). Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Except the little guy lands in the middle of a prison yard and his life’s education begins with lessons in crime.
A super-villain is born, literally. While attending school, the youngster compares his life to an ultra-popular boy, who also landed on earth as an infant, sent from a dying planet by his parents. Must be an epidemic of rescued alien babies or something.
Anyway, the two non-earthlings grow up to vastly different futures, the blue one taking the name Megamind (Will Ferrell, voice) and the handsome one becoming Metro Man (Brad Pitt, voice). Each is enamored of TV reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey, voice) who is also adored by dork cameraman Hal (Jonah Hill, voice). Metro Man is the hero of Metro City, constantly thwarting the ever-hopeful Megamind out of the adulation he craves.
A surprising victory for Megamind occurs when he discovers Metro Man’s weakness, allowing the blue brainiac to destroy the superhero and gain control of Metro City. Life becomes boring for our blue villain and the city quickly deteriorates, leaving Mega Mind bored and unfulfilled. To liven things up, he creates a potion that gives Hal super powers so that he can become a worthy hero nemesis named Tighten.
That’s when everything goes haywire.
There’s a side plot concerning Bernard (Justin Theroux, voice) a shy, bookish clerk whose identity Megamind steals in order to woo Roxanne. The blue guy has a nice face under that huge forehead, and even sports a mustache-less goatee for added street cred. How can Roxanne resist?
Tighten is jealous and sparks fly. Remember, Tighten used to be Hal, who swooned over Roxanne. The two superpowers clash, but the line between good and evil is smudged. Even Megamind is confused and he started the whole thing. It takes a good deal of mechanical battle to sort things out and the 3D effect is put to good use as objects hurtle toward the audience – just what you’d expect from super-powered beings.
A twist and some surprises will greet you along the way, always welcome in a genre that relies heavily on formula. Megamind’s is new and improved.
Director Tom McGrath (Madagascar) delivers an animated comedy that both children and adults can enjoy. Comedic timing is crisp. Megamind is a sympathetic character despite his evil agenda. Heroes have flaws and villains have hearts. The handsome guy doesn’t always win. McGrath gets the audience to approve and that’s the best payoff.
You’ll see slow motion shots, reflections, and a constant flow of technical wizardry throughout the 96 minute film (from Dreamworks Animation). The 3D process, so seemingly essential to animated productions today, is effective at times, but not necessary to appreciate the film.
Will Ferrell is a vocal standout, dispensing an arrogant vulnerability and a lovable aggression to his character. His puns, bewilderment, and intermittent mispronunciations work for Megamind in a way that they frequently don’t for Ferrell in the flesh. David Cross is engaging as Minion, the voice of reason (and fashion). Brad Pitt and Tina Fey skillfully personalize their characters to bounce off of Ferrell’s misplaced megalomania.
Other vocal talent includes Ben Stiller, J.K. Simmons, and Jessica Schulte amid a large cast that also incorporates two of Stiller’s children, Ella Olivia and Quinn Dempsey.
He may be an alien, bigheaded and blue with a body like a pipe cleaner, but Megamind just may be the best date you’ll have this holiday season.