PLOT (spoiler alert):
Megamind (Will Ferrell) is a super-intelligent alien, and a incredibly handsome genius and master of all villainy, and self-proclaimed villain of the fictional Metro City. Megamind has constantly battled and lost to his nemesis Metro Man (Brad Pitt) since they both arrived on Earth as infants. On the day that Metro City dedicates a museum to their protector, Megamind and his sidekick Minion (David Cross) kidnap reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) and lure Metro Man into a copper-lined room. To everyone’s surprise, Metro Man is unable to escape and appears to be killed when Megamind’s death ray strikes him. Megamind revels in his victory against Metro Man, but shortly after becomes depressed, his villainy having no meaning without anyone to stop him.
While attempting to destroy the museum, he disguises himself as its curator Bernard (Ben Stiller) to talk to Roxanne. Megamind is inspired by a comment from Roxanne to create a superhero by injecting a worthy target with a serum fashioned from Metro Man’s DNA, granting them Metro Man’s super-abilities. As Megamind is selecting his target, Roxanne sneaks into Megamind’s lair; in the resulting chaos, Megamind accidentally fires the serum into Hal, Roxanne’s cameraman (Jonah Hill). Taking advantage of the gullible Hal, Megamind appears to the transformed human as his “space dad”, grooming Hal into the superhero Titan (which Hal mispronounces as “Tighten”) and preparing him to fight Megamind in the coming days. Meanwhile, Megamind has become attracted to Roxanne, and continues to date her using his Bernard disguise. Titan, also infatuated with Roxanne, becomes jealous of Bernard, while Minion, seeing Megamind losing interest in villainy, angrily leaves him. On a dinner date, Megamind’s disguise falters, leading Roxanne to dump him. Megamind, heartbroken, returns to his lair and vows to fight Titan the next day as planned.
Megamind becomes impatient waiting for Titan and seeks him out, finding that Titan is intending to use his powers for nefarious purposes. Outraged, Megamind taunts Titan into fighting him by revealing his space dad and Bernard disguises. In the midst of the fight, Megamind realizes that Titan will not be satisfied with simply imprisoning Megamind after his loss, but intends to kill him. Megamind then tries to activate his safeguard scheme by capturing Titan in a copper-lined trap and is shocked to find it fails to work. Megamind flees, leaving the city to celebrate Titan’s victory, until Titan reveals that he is taking over the city and goes on a destructive rampage as the new villain, much to everyone’s shock. Megamind returns to Roxanne, apologizing and convincing her to lead him to Metro Man’s secret headquarters where they might find another way to stop Titan. They are surprised to find Metro Man alive, secluded in his headquarters. Metro Man reveals he had become tired of fighting Megamind and had an epiphany; faking his own death to pursue his career as a musician. Without any new leads, Roxanne tries to convince Megamind to fight Titan as the city’s hero, but Megamind feels he is destined to always be the failing villain, and turns himself back into prison.
Later, Titan captures Roxanne and secures her to the top of Metro Tower, threatening to kill her if Megamind does not fight him. Seeing Roxanne in danger, Megamind pleads to the Warden for his release, apologizing for all the wrongs he committed before. To the former villain’s surprise, Minion has disguised himself as the Warden, accepts Megamind’s apology, and the two take off to save the city. They use an elaborate ruse, Minion disguising himself as Megamind to lure Titan from the tower and save Roxanne, while Megamind disguises himself as Metro Man to verbally berate Titan for his actions. Titan is temporarily bested, and told by “Metro Man” to leave “Metrocity” (Megamind’s distinctive mispronunciation of “Metro City”), but the deranged villain soon returns, seeing through Megamind’s disguise. Megamind is forced to run from Titan’s wrath, until Roxanne discovers where Megamind left his invisible car and the tool to extract the superhero serum from Titan. Megamind successfully retrieves the device and uses it on Titan, reverting him back to Hal. As Hal is now taken away to jail, the city cheers for its new hero, a role that Megamind realizes he is capable of choosing himself.
In the aftermath, the former Metro Man museum is rededicated to Megamind, who is slowly coming around to being the hero. He and Roxanne have developed a relationship, and hidden in the crowds, a disguised Metro Man gives Megamind his congratulations.
I would classify this as a superhero film, but seeing as how the main character is a supervillain, it is kind of hard to do so. Megamind is Dreamworks’ entry into the realm of superheroes. They just chose to do it with a supervillain, which is something different…or at least it would have been, if we hadn’t just seen them make the villain the focal point in Despicable Me.
The story here is a bit like what you get from Superman. Alien is sent to Earth to be saved from destruction, only on his way there, he is knocked off course by another kid on his way to Earth, who turns out to go on and become the city’s hero, Metro Man (a parody of Superman).
After a bit of history about how he became a villain, we are introduced to present day where the two are in an epic struggle for something, and we meet the token vixen/damsel in distress. This battle leads to the apparent death of Metro Man and the descent of Megamind into obscurity, until he figures out a way to create a new arch-enemy using a superhero serum derived from Metro Man’s DNA (found on his cape).
The patsy for this experiment is Roxanne’s cameraman, Hal, a total loser in every sense of the word. After a little while of being a hero, he gets corrupted by the power and turns to crime, and realizes that Megamind is after “his girl” he tries to kill Megamind. After Megamind’s initial defeat and some odd plot twist, we reach the film’s climactic battle and end sequence.
Storywise, this isn’t that bad, but it seemed to be a bit o recycled material, if you ask me. I get the feeling this was supposed to be Dreamworks’ The Incredibles, of sorts. Problem with that is that The Incredibles was original when it was released. This is nothing more than a series of parodies, done decently mind you, but still parodies. This really hurts this film, as it has such potential, it just needed a better story.
I guess How to Train Your Dragon spoiled me in terms of what Dreamworks can do since it was done so well. Not only was it a superior story to this, the animation was on a different level. Having said that, don’t get the idea that this animation isn’t top-notch, it just isn’t as good. I suppose you can say it looks a bit like it was done on older computers or something.
I am grateful that they didn’t try to stick a whole slew of pop culture references in here like this company is known to do, however, one or two wouldn’t have hurt. It very well might have made the film funnier, because other than Will Ferrell’s lines, I wasn’t really laughing.
Speaking of Ferrell, his mannerisms and characterization are a bit toned down (if you can believe that) as Megamind, but he was a great choice to voice him.
Tina Fey as Roxanne wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t know, for me it just seemed as if she should have been the typical helpless damsel in distress and not the type of genius that would warrant Tina Fey voicing her. Still, she didn’t do a bad job.
Brad Pitt as Metro Man is something quite interesting. I’m sure more than a few women would love for him to don some sort of superhero costume. He has a very limited role, but he does it in typical professional Pitt-style. Not shabby.
Jonah Hill was perfectly cast as the bumbling Hal, but his voice didn’t work as Titan. They should’ve done something to alter it a bit, at least in my opinion.
I went into this film, Megamind, expecting to either be blown away by something to rival Pixar in terms of story and animation, and yet I came away with nothing more than an attempt to turn a parody into an original story. While it works, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m sure there is an audience for this. As for me, I was entertained, just not blown away. This film is hurt by the legacy left by its Dreamworks predecessors, which really is a shame. I highly recommend this, especially if you’re looking for a good flick to watch with your kids or just need an escape from all these dark, bloody films out there today.
4 out of 5 stars