Screen Rant’s Vic Holtreman reviews Megamind

I stopped watching Megamind clips and trailers over a month before this movie opened. It wasn’t easy, because between trailers, clips and featurettes, over 30 videos have been released for the movie (big, BIG push there). After watching the film I checked out the 3rd trailer, and I’m glad I didn’t see it beforehand because it gives away a TON about the movie.

Since I avoided so much media, I didn’t really have much of an idea in my head regarding what the movie would be like beyond the initial trailer or two. I liked the idea a lot: A riff on the Superman origin, with another baby that arrived on earth at the same time but turned out to be a super-villain. Heck, that’s an interesting set up for a regular, “serious” superhero movie – but with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, David Cross and Jonah Hill, plus Brad Pitt hamming it up it seemed like it could be great played as a comedy.

However right from the start while the concept and set up was funny, the humor felt a bit strained – like it was shooting for something but just missed it. It moves through Metroman and Megamind’s childhoods rather quickly, and there are a few laughs with yuppie mini-Metroman impressing his fellow classmates and some pathos where mini-Megamind is concerned with his outsider status. While still young, Megamind has an epiphany: If he can’t be successful at being good, then he’ll just be as bad as he can be – and he excels at it.

His childhood rivalry with Metroman goes on into adulthood where they have a history of epic battles and Megamind ending up in prison. Megamind always goes after Metroman’s “Lois Lane” (voiced by Tina Fey). So often, in fact that she’s bored instead of terrified when he captures her.

By mistake, Megamind ends up achieving everything he’s ever wanted – and as expected, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. One thing leads to another and eventually he falls for Fey’s character (Roxanne), and you know how the old beauty and the beast story goes. One problem is that the film doesn’t really seem to know what to do after Megamind inadvertently achieves his goal very early on in the film. Sure, they know where they want to go with the overall Megamind character arc, but it feels like they were at a loss as to how to get him there and just came up with “something.”

The voice work by everyone was very good, the animation was great and even the 3D was well done. One thing that strikes me about superhero CGI-animated films is how cool they manage to make the “superhero-ing” look. The battle scenes, action shots and especially the camera angles and cinematography of the flying scenes made me yearn for a live action superhero movie that would be as compelling when it comes to those types of shots.

On the other hand, where I went in really wanting to laugh out loud at a funny animated film – I mostly chuckled (slightly). Towards the end of the film there were a couple of laugh out loud moments for me – and interestingly the story becomes more engaging as we delve deeper into Megamind’s heart. There were some nods to other films (one very Superman-related that was funny at first but then overstayed its welcome).

I really wanted to like Megamind more… maybe it’ll be one of those movies that wins me over upon a second viewing – once my expectations are out of the way. Kids will probably enjoy it.

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Our Rating:

3 out of 5