Megamind Review

Megamind (2010)

Originality of vision is not always necessary to make a film, and the lack of it does not necessarily make a film bad. Even in 3-D, a movie can sometimes find it’s place in the middle ground between typical trash and art. Case in point: the newest Dreamworks Animation release, MEGAMIND, a collage of recycled material, prime voice casting, and fun, antic wit that brings absolutely nothing “newest” to the table.

Discharged from his dying home planet Clark Kent-style, blue-skinned extraterrestrial Megamind (voice by Will Ferrell) lands in a prison cell in Metro City and learns pretty quickly that villainy is his forte. He spends most of his huge-headed life being defeated by Metro Man (Brad Pitt), the narcissistic but nonetheless vigilant and all-powerful guardian of Metro City. Both villain and hero pay special attention to capturing/rescuing newscaster Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey), whose beauty and sass only further paralyze her faithful cameraman Hal (Jonah Hill, most likely cast not for his fitting voice, but body type). In the film’s most inspired conceit, however, Metro Man is finally defeated and presumed destroyed by a sun-powered Death Ray, leaving Megamind without a rival and with no one left to play cops and robbers. He decides, being the genius he is, that making a new superhero is the best idea to cure him of his boredom. Giving away anymore is both unnecessary and unfair, as the plot runs on fumes from there, much to the chagrin of anyone over the age of 10.

One may notice that the voice cast of this film is almost too good to believe, but it’s true, and impressive. Ferrell, whose last voice-over role was Man with the Yellow Hat in 2006’s CURIOUS GEORGE, proves once again why he is Hollywood’s go-to funnyman. His slight British inflection makes simple expressions embarrassingly funny – “Minion, I’m feeling so mel-onk-o-lee”, he says at one point. Fey’s Ritchie is a rare character for any film, strong and single and just as willing to dish out lines like “Let’s go gangsta”. Besides these two and Pitt (again spoofing his Hollywood persona a la BURN AFTER READING), the voice cast includes Ben Stiller, David Cross (as Megamind’s BFF puffer-fish-in-a-gorilla-suit, Minion), and J.K. Simmons (an obscure but apt, choice for a prison warden). These are highly sought-after and talented people, and through sheer skill and experience they elevate Megamind to a higher realm of comedy than many kids and adults will come to expect from the trailers.

No studio in a long time has made a film on the same creative or intellectual level as a Pixar Animation Studios; knowing this, Dreamworks is campaigning heavily for a Best Picture nomination in February for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, and seems intent on adding quality films to their repertoire. In this sense, MEGAMIND represents. First, writers Alan J. Schoolchraft and Brent Simons borrow not only Superman allusions and jokes, but also essential plot details from such films as THE INCREDIBLES and DESPICABLE ME. Those films were each too good and too recent to forget, and the script would have benefited if equal attention were given to plot as the jokes (many of which had the 18+ audience members laughing while the kids waited for the loudest noise or brightest 3-dimensional explosion). Second, director Tom McGrath (stepping down a bit from MADAGASCAR, but not much) resorts to using that 3-D technology for pure exploitation, unlike great CGI films such as HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and TOY STORY 3.

Megamind horizontal posterOh, and weird as it may be to say, Hans Zimmer’s score (with Lorne Balfe) is just intrusive. My expectations for Zimmer are perhaps too high, and the man is bound to win a million more trophies before year’s end (his INCEPTION score was tremendous), so this was a bit of a disappointment.

MEGAMIND (November 2010). Directed by: Tom McGrath. Written by: Alan J. Schoolcraft & Brent Simons. Music by: Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe. Voice Cast: Megamind – Will Ferrell; Roxanne Ritchie – Tina Fey; Metro Man – Brad Pitt; Minion – David Cross; Hal/Tighten – Jonah Hill; Warden – J.K. Simmons.


Megamind: Cinefantastique Podcast 1:39


MEGAMIND takes the usual superhero-supervillain rivalry and turning it upside down (or inside out). The result – voiced by Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and Tina Fey – is a box office hit, but does it have a brain on its shoulders or is it soft in the head? Find out on this week’s episode of the Cinefantastique Podcast, as Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski take an in-depth look at the latest 3-D CGI film from DreamWorks Animation, makers of SHREK FOREVER AFTER and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Plus, the usual assortment of news, upcoming events, and home video releases.


'Megamind' Trailer #3

Here’s the latest trailer for MEGAMIND, the upcoming Superhero/Villain animated comedy film from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures.
MEGAMIND is set to be released in standard and 3D on November 5th. Voices cast includes stars Will Ferrell (LAND OF THE LOST), Brad Pitt (NTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE),  Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill.
Tom McGrath directs, from a screenplay by Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons

Megamind: November 5

Paramount Pictures releases this science-fiction comedy from DreamWorks Animation. Will Ferrell provides the voice of the title character, an evil genius whose plans are always thwarted by his opponent, Metro Man (voiced by Brad Pitt). Tom McGrath directed from a script by Alan J Schoolcraft and Brent Simons. Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, and David Cross round out the voice cast. The trailer makes the film look better than the company’s latest SHREK movie but not as good as HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. Can it surpass Universal’s DESPICABLE ME, which also asked audiences to identify with a bad guy trying to enact incredible schemes? We’ll have to wait and see…
NOTE: This trailer from Comic-Con reveals more of the plot than the more familiar theatrical trailer.
Release date: November 5
Megamind poster Megamind (2010) Megamind (2010) Will Ferrell Megamind and sidekick Metro Man, Megamind, Roxanne Ritchi Megamind and Roxanne Ritchi Megamind from DreamWorks Animation Megamind in a good mood

'Megamind' — Trailer UPDATE

NOTE: The Yahoo Movies trailer appears to have been pulled — here’s one via YouTube.
Here’s the trailer  and synopsis for DreamWorks’s upcoming animated film MEGAMIND:

“Megamind is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known. And the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way. Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as ‘Metro Man,’ an invincible hero until the day Megamind actually kills him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans.
Suddenly, Megamind has no purpose. A supervillain without a superhero. He realizes that achieving his life’s ambition is the worst thing that ever happened to him. Megamind decides that the only way out of his rut is to create a new hero opponent called ‘Titan,’ who promises to be bigger, better and stronger than Metro Man ever was.
Pretty quickly Titan starts to think it’s much more fun to be a villain than a good guy. Except Titan doesn’t just want to rule the world, he wants to destroy it.
Now, Megamind must decide: can he defeat his own diabolical creation? Can the world’s smartest man make the smart decision for once? Can the evil genius become the unlikely hero of his own story?”

MEGAMIND stars the voices of Will Ferrell as Megamind, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill (EVAN ALMIGHTY) and Brad Pitt as Metro Man.
A Red Hour Films production from DreamWorks Animation.
Written by: Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons
Directed by Tom McGrath (MADAGASCAR)
Due out November 5th, 2010 by Paramount