- Rated PG
- Buy the BD
All photos © Paramount Pictures
Reviewed by David Medsker
egamind” is good at keeping the audience busy, but only after the credits roll do you realize that most of it was just noise, an endless barrage of destruction that occasionally advances a story with very little emotional punch. It looks good, and has some good laughs, but it’s also cold, as if it either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that thousands of people are dying during the big battle sequences. There is lots of action, but no consequences. Life just ain’t like that.
The story has fun with the origins of “Superman” as a baby Megamind (Will Ferrell) and another infant are jettisoned from their soon-to-be-destroyed planet. Both land on Earth, but while the other baby arrives at the door of a rich couple, Megamind lands in a prison, and is essentially raised to be a supervillain. The other baby, meanwhile, grows up to be Metro Man (Brad Pitt), defender of Metro City, and the two of them have a fun rivalry, even if Megamind’s plans to defeat Metro Man never work. One day, though, his plan does work, and with Metro Man dispatched, Megamind is free to subject the citizens to his evil schemes, but he quickly grows bored and misses having any competition. He creates a device that will assign all of Metro Man’s capabilities into a regular person, but he accidentally shoots Hal (Jonah Hill), the cameraman of TV reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey), and Hal has no interest in being the good guy.
For a movie with this much comedic talent at its disposal, it should be funnier. (Fey gets the best line, when she tells a quarrelling Megamind and Metro Man, “Girls, girls, girls, you’re both pretty. Can I go now?”) Instead, Ferrell must take an Emotional Journey, Cross is upstaged by Megamind’s small army of robot pets, and the movie’s running joke involves Megamind’s tendency to mispronounce even the most basic words. Dialogue is clearly third string to busting stuff and a convoluted plot where Megamind assumes the form of various people in order to get closer to Roxanne. (Don’t get us started on the ending, which has a plot hole the size of Texas.) Hill has some fun with the role of Hal, though, and in fact has the most realistic character in the movie.
It seems wasteful to spend $150 million on a movie that doesn’t aspire to be anything greater than mindless entertainment, but one look at the top grossing movies of the year shows that there is clearly a demand for it, and on those terms, “Megamind” delivers. It will probably be forgotten five years from now, but for those looking for a distraction, it’ll work. Not a ringing endorsement, true, but it’s what the movie deserves.