After super-villain Megamind kills his good-guy nemesis, Metro Man, he becomes bored since there is no one left to fight. He creates a new foe, Titan, who, instead of using his powers for good, sets out to destroy the world, positioning Megamind to save the day for the first time in his life.
Directed by: Tom McGrath
. Starring: Will Ferrell
, Brad Pitt
, Tina Fey
, Jonah Hill
, David Cross
, Ben Stiller
, Justin Theroux
, Jessica Schulte
, Tom McGrath
, Emily Nordwind
, J.K. Simmons
, Ella Olivia Stiller
, Quinn Dempsey Stiller
. Music by: Lorne Balfe
, Hans Zimmer
Despite its rather conventional ending, 'Megamind' proves to be a highly entertaining twist on the superhero genre. Satirizing the origin of the Superman comics stories, we're introduced to two different superheros, Megamind and Metroman, as they arrive on earth from separate dying planets, in space capsules at the same time. Metroman's flight is smooth but Megamind's is anything but-'crashing into various meteors and debris like an out of control bumper car. A flashback chronicles how Metroman ends up with an all-American family but Megamind plops down in middle of the Metro City prison where he's raised by inmates to be a 'villain'. But Megamind is actually more like The Wizard of Oz than a hardened criminal-'his dark side can best be described as a mischievous youthful offender, capable of rehabilitation.
If Megamind's delinquent mindset is his Achilles heel, Metroman is also trapped by his celebrity status. An Adonis with a chiseled jaw, Metroman flings babies in the air with aplomb as police officer shoot their guns as part of a blind celebratory approbation. Megamind and Metroman periodically battle one another for the affection of love object Roxanne (Roxie) Ritchie, a perky TV newscaster voiced by the talented Tina Fey. Roxie isn't impressed by their clumsy attempts to win her affections. She's bored after being kidnapped by Megamind and after being brought to his lair bluntly tells Megamind that your "plan never works". When Metroman arrives and engages Megamind in yet another physical confrontation that always ends in a stalemate, Roxie wittily queries: "Girls, girls, you're both pretty. Can I go home now?"
'Megamind' breaks into its second act when Metroman fakes his own death and the blue-skinned Conehead finds himself experiencing an 'existential crisis'. Without Metroman, Megamind laments, "it's just too easy now". In his 'despair', Megamind's delinquency in Metro City (or 'Metrocity' as he puts it) multiplies exponentially. Megamind steals all the artwork in the city's museums and places them inside his own office inside City Hall. He throws currency all over the streets as if it's confetti, but none of the mischief makes him happy. Finally, using an idea he misappropriates from Roxie, he decides to create his own superhero so he can once again find some meaning in his existence. NY Times critic Stephen Holden puts it most succinctly: "The movie's central joke -' that good and evil are meaningless unless both exist in continual opposition -' is unusually sophisticated for an animated movie."
Megamind's new opponent turns out to be Roxie's cameraman, Hal, a geek who expects women to flock to him without mustering any effort to charm them. Before being injected with Megamind's new preparation that alters his DNA, Hal is a harmless nerd who reminds me of a caricature of Bill Murray's cameraman in the classic comedy, 'Groundhog Day'.
There are tons of funny moments in 'Megamind'. Here a few that come to mind: when Megamind tells Roxie they're making renovations at the Metroman Museum ("we're having the walls and ceilings removed"); when Megamind throws the dynamite at his mini-bots and apologizes ("Daddy's sorry"); Minion's expression when he leaves Megamind (stifling his tears and then displaying a stiff upper lip); Titan's lame comment after Roxie rejects him ("Wow, our first fight"); the reaction of the man with the baby in the restaurant when Bernard is transformed back to Megamind (his eyes are wide open in disbelief!).
Despite all the good stuff, 'Megamind' loses its way when introducing 'Titan', a character that diminishes the comic tone of the film's second half. Although Megamind was always up to mischief, he never had murderous intentions (remember how surprised he was, when he thought he had killed Metroman). Before Megamind's misguided intervention, Hal was like many other geeky guys who simply hadn't discovered the right way to charm women. Remember it was Roxanne herself who confronted Titan and reminded him that he was not such a bad guy after all, BEFORE he was transformed. This is what Roxanne says to Titan right before he ties her up on the tower: "I want to talk to the real Hal...I want to talk to the guy who liked being a cameraman, and eating dip and being a nerd and being not as scary as the Titan Hal." In Roxanne's view, before the injection, Hal may have been "self-absorbed" and perhaps a little "selfish", but certainly not in her eyes, a creepy stalker. He had his "issues" just like Megamind and Metroman, but they were all multi-dimensional characters.
Only Titan is a one-note character. He has no charm and doesn't really fit in the Megamind universe due to his unpleasant attitude and non-stop nastiness. When he actually tries to kill Roxanne by lobbing the bus at her, the movie suddenly turns in a rather sour, unfunny direction. I realize that once he was injected, all of Hal's bad points were magnified to the point where he became a psychopath. But why was that? Why couldn't Hal remain the goofy nerd, even after Megamind injected him? Everything else in the movie was FUN, but once Titan turned into who he was, things weren't much fun anymore.
In essence, there needed to be some kind of explanation in the script as to WHY Titan became a psychopath. Perhaps he encountered some Kryptonite type substance that made him act that way or perhaps Minion used the wrong DNA when the formula was being prepared. Some may believe on the other hand that Hal was innately bad and Titan merely represented a magnification of his evil nature. Whatever the case, the Titan character was so unlikeable that the film's denouement turned into the standard comic book 'good triumphs over evil' narrative.
Why belabor Megamind's obvious shortcomings? There's enough excellent, clever stuff here to keep the critical film goer eminently satisfied. 'Megamind' is without a doubt, worth more than just one viewing.
Review by Turfseer from the Internet Movie Database.