- 06 Dec 10
Megamind looks fantastic, but Dreamworks has again failed to provide us with characters we can actually care about
You have to love Megamind’s casting. Will Ferrell plays Megamind, an odd-looking, amusing gentleman who engages in villainous attention-seeking acts, while Brad Pitt gives voice to his arch-nemesis Metro Man, the (literally) child-juggling hero who just wants a break from being perfect. Caught between them is Tina Fey’s Roxanne, a sassy reporter tired of being surrounded by useless men like Jonah Hill’s Hal, an over-eager slob who initially seems harmless but is in fact creepy, unfunny and just keeps popping up everywhere. It must be nice getting paid to be yourself. (Wrote the vaguely embittered, sardonic critic who feels entitled to judge other people’s accomplishments, possibly due to being a Celtic Tiger cub with indulgent parents.)
The casting is merely one example of the pop-culture laden meta-jokes in Megamind. In other words, whatever claims it might have on our affections, it could never pretend to be original. Blatantly playing on the Superman/Lex Luther rivalry, Megamind also steals from Green Lantern, X-Men, Robot Monster and countless other comics and films. Some of these gags, like Megamind’s disguise as Marlon Brando’s Jor-El, are downright hilarious – but only if you know who Marlon Brando is, which the several hundred under-tens in the audience clearly didn’t. Thus, the scene was greeted with a bemused silence.
Megamind looks fantastic, using the 3D format to great effect, sharpening the plentiful action sequences and punchlines. But, if its reliance on over-used formulas (how many times can a soundtrack feature ‘Bad to the Bone’ and ‘Alone Again’?) is disquieting, the biggest disappointment is that Dreamworks have yet again failed to provide us with characters we can actually care about. Though consistently funny and enjoyable, Megamind is essentially average.