Saturday, November 6, 2010

Movie Review: Megamind

When you walk on the tightrope of archetype, you risk falling into the swamp of cliché. Dreamwork’s “Megamind” (Will Farrel, Tina Fey, David Cross) is the story of a Superman analogue (Metro Man) versus a Lex Luthor analogue (Megamind), but with the twist: what would happen if Luthor finally won?
In “Megamind,” it’s fairly clear that Megamind really had no larger plan than, “Kill Metro Man, steal stuff, have stuff.” Beyond that, his character isn’t developed at all. After he defeats Metro Man, Megamind sits around bored (along with the audience) for almost two full acts. The story finally picks up in the third act when motivations and consequences finally begin to manifest, but until then it’s just a long string of tropes and going through the motions of a children’s animated feature.

The plot is very Dreamworks-y. Things just happen because they need to happen, whether there is a good reason or not. An alien that lands in a prison is raised by the prisoners. Reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) solves a mystery by a completely baffling coincidence (even by comic book and movie standards). Megamind’s inevitable change of heart (oh, spoiler alert: he has a change of heart, surprise!) is barely questioned by a populace that he has supposedly menaced for decades. Logic and narrative always take second place to a quick, cheap gag, and that’s how the story feels: cheap. Oh, it’s funny. Lough out loud funny at times (I’m a sucker for Will Farrel and David Cross), but always cheap.

For all its narrative faults, the animation is spectacular. Characters and backgrounds are rendered with incredible detail, but that’s the norm in Hollywood animation nowadays. Anything less than spectacular is unacceptable; but “Megamind” really stands out in the choreography of its battle sequences. There’s a rhythm and flow that a lot of live action super hero movies don’t live up to.

You can do a lot worse than “Megamind,” but after a decade of great superhero movies like “X-Men” and “Batman,” “Megamind” comes off as very shallow, especially with a great premise. Wait to see this in the cheap theatres or with a coupon.

ADDENDUM: The “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” trailer rendered in full 3D was absolutely terrifying.

1 comment:

  1. Megamind was very funny movie, the animation was gorgeous and the music rocked. I didn't think it had the best story though, I mean, nothing too sophisticated... that's when the 3D enters - to add interest. I'm not such a 3D fan, so it's hard for me to judge. All in all I really enjoyed this movie, it was a good laugh and perfect entertainment. :)