Starring: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill
Director: Tom McGrath
Heroes have hogged the screen for years. But it seems the newest trend is that the villains are getting their chance to shine, and next up is a misunderstood blue alien.
“Megamind” is a family oriented animated movie in a world where heroes and villains fight for control of their home, Metro City. Villain and main character Megamind (Will Ferrell) and his nemesis Metro Man (Brad Pitt) have competed since they were children. Both landed on Earth as babies sent from their home planets, similar to Superman landing on Earth and being adopted upon landing.
While Metro Man grew up in a loving home, Megamind was raised in a prison. He attempts to fit in at the local school he’s taken to. Naturally, the little blue boy doesn’t exactly fit in. Eventually he decides his talent at destroying things means that it’s his destiny to be evil, with a not so creatively named sidekick named Minion assisting him.
And so, Megamind and Metro Man have competed since they were in the same school as children, and to some extent the city isn’t even terrorized by the villainous Megamind. Crowds cheer for Metro Man and boo Megamind away rather than flee when he appears. One reporter in particular, Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey), has been kidnapped as bait so many times she no longer fears Megamind at all.
But Megamind seemingly succeeds in taking out Metro Man, and he takes over the city only to realize he isn’t happy now that he has nothing to do and no one to fight. He sets out to create another hero to fight, and of course, the plot thickens and twists as he falls in love with Roxanne and trains her infatuated cameraman (Jonah Hill) to be the next hero.
The themes in this movie are pretty typical: good and evil balance each other out; there is good in everyone; power can corrupt anyone; and sometimes you don’t know how good you have things until they change. They’re simple lessons that fit perfectly within the family film genre, so it makes sense that they’d be in this film.
Yet this movie is surprisingly entertaining for those of us above the age of nine. It’s simple, yet it managed to bring in a couple complex ideas that even adults sometimes struggle with. This also isn’t the first movie to toy with the idea of a villain as the main character who eventually has to choose what side he’s on; “Despicable Me” carried a similar idea earlier this year. Still, there’s something irresistibly fun about a villain who’s a blue alien with an oversized head that just can’t pronounce things correctly.
The dialogue is suitable for a comedy – silly and lighthearted, it’s pretty innocent humor, again catering to the nine year olds in the room. And this is a pretty good cast delivering those lines. The actors do their part in making these characters as real as pixels can be, so there’s some depth to the characters.
The animation is pretty good, too. As with most movies today, it’s in 3-D, but luckily it relies on it less heavily than some other films to hit screens recently. It’s far more plot driven then graphics driven. Aside from two or three camera angles clearly meant to make children jump thinking something will hit them, the animation plays like a normal movie.
Even the music works well for the film. Anything composed specifically for this film comes from Hans Zimmer, who always makes songs that capture a moment and enhance it beautifully.
Overall, “Megamind” brings smiles and laughter to its viewers successfully, managing to make a simple story a very entertaining one. Don’t underestimate this movie – much like Megamind himself, there’s something more to it and it deserves its chance to shine.