Reviews: Mega Mind
Good, Falling Short of Great
I finally watched "Megamind" on DVD after long being intrigued by the premise and really did like it. As someone who's not a fan of either the Donner or Snyder versions, this is one of the best Superman stories I've seen on film, with characters who get a lot of development in a smart plot with a solid action finale. As an adult comic book fan, I enjoyed those elements of it a lot, and was surprised how much nuance they managed to fit into 90 minutes. Where the movie gets into trouble with me is the humor, which is extremely hit or miss. Some jokes had me in stitches, while others fell with a dull thud. I think a lot of this comes from Dreamworks wanting to have the best of both worlds: wit for the adults, za~~~~ny humor for the children. I don't mind child-aimed humor - after all, when it's well-done it's as funny to adults as kids - but here almost none of it really worked for me. Which makes me wonder how much of what I appreciated in the film would have gone straight over the heads of children; maybe that's why the film failed financially. Also, the use of licensed song. The first time's funny, the second time's annoying, by the end credits it's "you're trying to hard." Dreamworks has started to get away from being the hip-and-relevant (as opposed to timeless) version of Pixar in recent years, and it's a move to their advantage, because this looks lame in retrospect. Overall, I recommend the film, but don't set your expectations too high. This isn't "The Incredibles" or "How to Train Your Dragon," but it's an entertaining superhero romp.
Dreamworks goes through the motions yet again
Well, my sister and her kid dragged me along to see Megamind as a "family outing", and let me just say it's every bit as mainstream as I expected it to be. It's got all the makings of a Dreamworks flick that isn't Kung Fu Panda or How To Train Your Dragon, or any other non-Pixar CGI flick, for that matter. For starters, there's the stunt-casting of SNL rejects with voices that no one in the world could recognize, the ugly "realistic" character design of the human characters and the atrocious "tude" face that plagues the film's promotional material. Going further into this, we've got the expensive crowd scenes that could possibly feed a third-world country with all the money put into them, the unmemorable sassy smartmouth female character whose sole story purpose is to fall in love with the male lead, the lazy use of licensed songs (mostly classic rock in this case) in place of an actual score and the forgettable orchestra music thrown together as filler between those tracks. Nice to see Hans "The Lion King" Zimmer's talents being squandered once again for the sake of what amounts to mere background noise. And while we're on the topic of music, let's not forget the obligatory Dance Party Ending to, surprise surprise, another licensed song, because we totally equate Michael Jackson's legacy with mediocre and commercial animation. Although there was one funny moment (Megamind's and Metro Man's exchange of metaphors) and one pretty cool moment ("Presentation!"), the movie ultimately feels like Dreamworks going through the motions. It's tolerable at best, but overall unfulfilling artistically and/or socially.
Megamind -More realistic than I expected
The simple fact: I like this movie. It is not my favorite movie, but I would put it among my favorite computer animated movies, about the same place as Madagascar. The plot: What would happen if Lex Luthor actually killed Superman. Except instead of Superman and Lex Luther, we have Metroman and Megamind, the latter of which is our villain protagonist. Both of them were aliens sent from their dying planets to earth, but Metroman has the unfair advantage of looking "normal" and having undeserved charisma, while Megamind was raised in a prison and was from a species of blue people with large heads. His flashback reveals he was the designated villain in his old school, being bullied for his differences (being smarter and having an adorable fish Minion). After the flashback, the movie starts with him killing his nemesis and taking over Metrocity, two things he did NOT think he would be able to do. The twist: Aside from being the dictator/villain, he has a crush on Roxanne, the news reporter who's always being saved by Metroman (and the only female in Metrocity that they cared enough about to put in the story. That bugs me a little, but atleast they didn't make her a screaming moron like Lois Lane). Megamind and Roxanne are ADORABLE, and they have many montages together (Megamind has a disguise, so she doesn't know who he is) to show their relationship building. The problem is, while they can be honest about some things, their whole relationship is based on the fact that she doesn't know he's the villain. It's a typical plot, but it's still played beautifully. There's also a jealous dork called Hal, who loves Roxanne but is very immature and obnoxious. Ironically, he is also Megamind's new superhero (Megamind wanted another superhero to fight. The movie explains this.) So, the movie was beautiful and the plot was amazing, but some of the elements in the story were too typical. You know that eventually "Bernard" is going to tell Roxanne the truth, and Hal was going to get jealous. Also, the subplot of Megamind and Minion refusing to talk to eachother was really forced. Still, the ending was great, they gave enough time for Roxanne/Megamind shipping AND superhero/villain fighting, and the storyline makes you want to watch it again and again. If you haven't seen it, and you love animated kids/teens movies, see it
Megamind - Megamazing!
When I went to see Megamind, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I research movies before I see them, and so (because of spoiler-laden trailers) I could guess parts of the movie before they happened. I've told everyone I know and now I'll tell you: Megamind is really amazing. I want to own it, I have thirty fanfics for it, I'm a geek for it, and I saw the movie THREE MONTHS AGO. Usually my geek-out phases only last a month or so. Now, I understand the arguments against it. Some people don't like the animation, or that it's animated at all; some people say it's not original enough; I've heard complaints about the songs used, the fact that it is clearly a Dreamworks production, that it's predictable, that it's a take-off of countless other things (mostly of Superman/Despicable Me), that they don't like the voice actors or the childishness, or that it was, of all things, boring. If you don't like animated movies, the first thing I ask is "why", but that's your issue to work out. If you don't like the style, once again, your issue, as there were no clear flaws that would disturb the standard audience. If it's not original enough/a take-off, the movie is aware of this: it is knowingly parodying all the other superhero movies we've seen in its concept, as well as subverting and deconstructing several of their associated tropes, and it does a thorough job of it too. If you don't like the music, it's a taste thing: I'm sure a few people in Metrocity didn't like "Highway to Hell" either. If you think it's childish . . . I dunno what to say. It could have been much more immature. I personally found the immaturity present to be at a realistic level. If you don't like the voice actors, again, why? Everyone did a good job, and if a voice annoys you, once again, it's personal taste. If you were bored, I'd like to know why. No one ever gives me a reason. Tell me why and we can reason together. Finally, the accusation that "it's just another Dreamworks movie." I'm so sick of hearing that. Yeah, Pixar's great, but it's not GOD, and other animation studios should be given a chance, especially when they put out fabulous stuff. For all the things you can fault it for, Megamind has solid plotting, characters, a fun premise, and a spirit I adore. Check it out!
To be upfront about it, I definitely didn't expect much going into this film: standard Dreamworks fare, a bit of a laugh and not much more. But the end result is a very solid, entertaining film. The characters are likeable and entertaining (and I did actually get to the point where I genuinely cared about what happened to them, which again, I really didn't expect), the plot held my attention, it made me laugh out loud quite a few times, the animation was perfectly acceptable (though I do wish Dreamworks would give up on the semi-realistic style already.) If you're already a fan of superheroes on a geekier level, catching some of the references is really fun as well. Definitely worth a look for fans of animation or superheroes. On the other hand, it is a comedic children's film, so you would probably need to be 'into' that kind of younger entertainment to really enjoy it.
The Good: Crisp, clean animation, mixed with strong storytelling and humour. The film tackles a lot of themes on morality, choice, destiny, lying, and of course, good and evil, and handles them all very well. The Bad: Some of the jokes will probably go over the heads of younger audience members (the Marlon Brando impression, for one) and the ending is a little awkward. A very enjoyable offering from Dreamworks studios. As fans of both comic books and classic rock music, my sister and I both loved this movie, and were practically falling out of our seats while we watched it. I would recommend it to anyone who is fond of the superhero genre, or enjoys atypical romantic comedies. That was the most suprising part about the whole thing. While the movie purports to be a tale of heroes and villains, at it's heart it's essentially a classic love story - with some very interesting trappings to go with it. At first, when we were heading into the theatre, I was worried that the film would be too much like The Incredibles or Despicable Me. And while it doesn't offer a whole lot of originality in its premise, I was delighted to find that it's very little like either film. There is a true gem of quality here for anyone willing to give it a chance.