So I watched Megamind…
In a time saturated with one type of genre (in this case, superhero movies) it can be difficult to make additions to the genre that are fresh and innovative. Sure, Megamind hit theatres before the superhero genre hit critical mass but it still had to do a good job to ensure that it didn’t became just another faceless addition to the fad.
Okay, basic plot: Just after his birth, Megamind’s parents send him, in a shuttle, to Earth to escape the impending doom of their dying planet. Megamind’s shuttle goes off course and he crashes in a prison where he is raised by the inmates to be evil. Although initially reluctant, Megamind (Will Ferrell) embraces a life of villainy and launches several evil schemes to terrorise and rule Metro City. Megamind’s plans are always foiled by Metro Man (Brad Pitt) – the city’s guardian. One day Megamind manages to defeat Metro Man but he soon discovers that victory isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be and that being evil might not be what he wants anymore.
I loved the stance this movie took and the fresh spin it put on the traditional superhero story. Villains are often such fascinating characters but they’re often relegated to the periphery of stories, so it’s great to see a film that focuses solely on one. Sure, Megamind isn’t Darth Vader or The Joker but as cartoons go, he’s as bad as they get. I loved the progression in his story. When the movie begins, Megamind is a pretty helpless character. Everything he does and everything he is, is a result of his circumstances; but as the movie progresses, he becomes more proactive and starts to own his actions.
This film also has an element that I think all superhero movies should have – the internal conflict between the hero’s two identities. Now in the beginning, Megamind doesn’t have a secret identity because he’s a full-time villain but through his romantic escapades with Roxanne (Tina Fey) he adopts an identity and now has these dual personalities that he needs to balance. These two personalities, of course, have to clash and Megamind’s feeling of obligation to his past comes up against his longing for a new future. It’s entertaining to watch and adds depth to the character.
This movie also functions well on a more superficial layer – it’s hilarious. This movie is filled with a plethora of silly moments and pieces of well-thought-out humour that had me on the floor laughing. The voice-actors in this film do a really amazing job bringing the comedy to life. Will Ferrell and Jonah Hill had me laughing the hardest, for sure, but I think Tina Fey was my favourite performance. She has this amazing dry wit and razor-sharp sarcasm that perfectly suited the character of Roxanne.
The movie’s score is also a delight to behold, wonderfully composed by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe. I loved the use of old school rock and roll anthems interspersed with Zimmer’s iconic melodic style. The rock songs really helped the movie stay up-tempo and reminded me a lot of what I liked about Iron Man. Visually, the film is also quite impressive. The detail that the animators put into look and feel of the characters is incredible. From adding stubble, to the way characters’ hair moved and how being wet changed the look of characters really impressed me. Normally I wouldn’t even notice this but it was so well done in this film that I couldn’t ignore it.
Overall, Megamind is a fiercely enjoyable movie. It’s funny, has a great message, is well-written and acted, and a great re-telling of the superhero story. Sure, it’s a ripoff of Superman but it does Superman better than most Superman movies. Definitely worth watching 8/10