Say what you will about Will Ferrell’s live action movies, but he makes an excellent 3D animated character. Megamind is quirky, funny and relatable, thanks to solid voice work and expressive animation and fits perfectly into the parodical world of Metro City. Combined with a clever spin on the timely superhero film, Megamind entertains with more wit than pop culture references, and genuine humor supersedes gimmicky gags. Aside from a few questionable character designs (namely the Syndrome wannabe Titan and the not-so-attractive leading lady Roxanne), Dreamworks’ latest animated feature reaches an impressive level of consistent laughs and light-hearted fun that precious few others can attain.
Born into a dying world and escaping to Earth only to wind up being raised in prison, Megamind (Will Ferrell) seems destined to become a supervillain. Continually thwarted by his fateful rival Metro Man (Brad Pitt), the blue-headed evil genius finally hatches a plan that defeats Metro City’s beloved superhero. Now, with no one to stop him in his rampant villainy, Megamind discovers he’s lost his purpose in life and determines to reboot his ideal clashes of good and evil by creating a new superhero to replace Metro Man. As he trains his soon-to-be nemesis Titan (or “Tighten” as he envisions himself), begins duplicitously dating news reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey), and quickly realizes the disastrous repercussions of his hasty scheming, Megamind must do the one thing he never thought possible – become the “good guy”.
Despite a heavy Superman origination parody (along with a hilarious Marlon Brando impression), Megamind boasts a thoroughly amusing, highly original plot. Twisting around the notion of a supervillain that turns to righteousness, this rip-roaring adventure features a bad guy that not only wins, but must create a new hero to duel so as not to get bored. Like the Joker and Batman, the two opposing forces must both be present for the perfect balance – and fortunately that’s what Megamind does best. The comedy, action, romance and visuals are all in a relatively flawless harmony, mixing in small doses of pop culture, witty banter, spoof, double speak, alter egos, and an expensive cast and soundtrack. Dreamworks Animation doesn’t skimp when it comes to popular music and recognizable voices.
The animation itself (most notably in facial expressions) is unusually pronounced, emotive, and exaggerated, creating a unique feel for oddly unattractive caricatures. Unfortunately, the 3D treatment adds little to the excitement. Metro Man does get the typical muscular, statuesque physique, with walking-on-water gimmicks, kissing (and juggling) babies, and over-the-top theatrics, but Megamind is more against the grain. He possesses a winningly sarcastic personality, but doesn’t get a pleasant design. He’s awkward, clumsy, scrawny and a perpetual loser, failing to create surprises when it comes to toppling his opponent. For all his genius plans for escaping prison, he’s still a completely incompetent killer. Yet his idiosyncrasies, change of heart and goofy sidekicks work to mold him into an agreeable nemesis, aiding a surprisingly different, hugely entertaining premise that remains fun, convivial and humorous, despite mediocre theatrical trailers.
– The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)