Review: Megamind


Directed by: Tom McGrath
Written by:Alan J. Schoolcraft, Bret Simons
Starring: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey, David Cross, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller
Released: December 9, 2010
Grade: C+

You might have heard the saying that every hero needs a villain.  Well, I guess it stands to reason that every villain needs a hero.  That’s the basic premise behind Megamind, the latest animated film from Dreamworks.

For many years, the evil Megamind (Ferrell) has been trying to defeat the city’s beloved Metro Man (Pitt).  Their battles are reminiscent of a Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon.  No matter how much planning Megamind puts into his devilish schemes, Metro Man always comes away as the victor.

Then… the unthinkable happens.  Megamind wins.  He kidnaps journalist Roxanne Ritchi (Fey) and lures Metro Man to the city observatory.  It turns out the copper lining the walls is Metro Man’s “kryptonite”.  His superpowers are useless.  Before Metro Man has a chance to escape, Megamind sets off the detonators and blows up the observatory.  The hero has been eliminated.

Megamind takes over the city but slowly starts feeling discontent.  Life was much more fun when he had someone to battle against.  Things just aren’t the same.  He comes up with the idea of creating a new adversary.  He picks out a bumbling cameraman named Hal (Hill) and starts grooming him into a caped crusader.  It won’t quite work out as he’d hoped.

Sadly, I could say the same thing about this film.  It didn’t provide the laughs that I was expecting from the trailer.  While I was sitting in the theatre, I kept thinking back to one of my all-time favourite animated flicks, The Incredibles (released in 2004).  It too looked at what goes on behind the scenes in “superhero world” but it was much funnier and much wittier.

Is Megamind just a vehicle for Will Ferrell to use funny voices and shout a lot?  That’s certainly the impression that I had.  So much more could have been made of this premise.  Audiences haven’t been too kind with their word of mouth either.  The last five Dreamworks animations have grossed at least $180m in the United States.  Megamind isn’t going too bad (with $130m over its first 4 weeks) but there’s no chance that it’ll reach that mark.