RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
DIRECTOR: Tom McGrath
STARRING: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Ben Stiller
LAST month, Universal bought us Despicable Me, the story of a villain who questions his bad behaviour. This month, Dreamworks offers us Megamind, the story of a villain who questions his bad behaviour.
Coincidence? You’d hope so.
It’s unfortunate that two animated films arrived at roughly the same time and dealing with roughly the same plot- the age-old battle between good and evil.
Having said that, it’s hardly a new concept. Megamind is, in its own right, a smorgasbord of references to cartoons of the 50s because there’s no escaping the retro format of an animated comic book tale: there’s a hero, there’s a villain and in this film, there’s even a token Lois Lane reporter called roxanne (Tina Fey).
But the film does do its best to do what Despicable Me did not – get to the point quickly.
Megamind – voiced by Will Ferrell- is sent to Earth at only eight days old by his parents to escape his dying galaxy, in the same way as classic predecessor, Superman.
At the same time, a much cuter baby is also deposited on Earth, who grows into the chisel-jawed Metro Man (Brad Pitt), providing Megamind with a nemesis.
With Hero/Villain career paths duly chosen, the pair battle it out until one day, Megamind actually defeats Metro Man, leaving the newly crowned victor in a quandary.
What use is a supervillain without a superhero to fight with? A good question.
Poor Megamind becomes quite depressed having an easy run of Metro City and with his life lacking purpose he begins impersonating a museum curator called Bernard (Ben Stiller), with the aid of his holowatch.
As Bernard, he begins dating Roxanne who inspires him to invent a new superhero playmate, but our blue-headed villain comes to realise that he rather enjoys the quiet life with his new love.
But all is not plain-sailing as new superhero, Titan, decides he would rather be a supervillain, forcing Megamind into the role of “good guy” by default.
Phew. If you’re struggling to keep up, think how the average child in the audience feels.
Stylistically slick 3D imagery from the Dreamworks camp, but the plot skates dangerously close to planting both feet in the adult camp, with satire sailing over youthful heads.