Just when you thought the superhero universe was crammed to capacity, make room for Megamind. And his eternal adversary, Metro Man. Both of whom fight for supremacy in the stereotypically named Metro City.
The theme of Megamind is distinctly similar to the recent Despicable Me – both movies focusing on hard-up bad guys who eventually give up their rotten ways and become…good. For my money though, Megamind pulls off the trick better than Despicable Me, which seemed heavily derivative. The positives with Megamind are some clever plays on superhero lore and some witty characterisation.
The plot: Megamind, an arch-villain with a bulbous blue head, has terrorised Metro City for years, constantly thwarted by the whiter-than-white Metro Man. However, all his dreams come true when he seemingly vaporizes Metro Man in an elaborate scheme and finds himself without a nemesis. Even going on the rampage through the city has no sparkle, so he sets out to create a new adversary, accidentally bestowing powers on the creepy cameraman who works with reporter Roxanne Ritchi.
Some of the reviews that I’ve read are disturbingly middling. To the point that I wondered if we were watching the same movie. All I know is that I walked out of the cinema elated and laughing along with the kids (and secretly resolving to answer the phone “Oh-lo” next time it rang!).
The Megamind character was brilliantly conceived, from the subtle Superman origin rip-off – two pods escaping two dying planets? – to the mispronunciation of words like Metrocity and his geeky genius. I loved that he had a minion called Minion. I loved the scene with the speeider (Arachnous Deathicus) and the idea that Metro Man had simply given up on a whim and become a lazy hippy playing guitar in his Fortress of Solitude.
A common complaint is that once Metro Man (“and I love you, random citizen”) was dispatched, the story got flabby in the middle. The defense is that that was out of necessity. I mean, the idea was that without the ying to his yang, Megamind would flounder. And he did. Then he discovered new purpose in romancing Roxanne Ritchi and creating a new foe.
I loved how the film played on the grey areas between good and evil – Megamind discovering that he doesn’t have to be the bad guy, while Metro Man proves himself to be a douche in his formative years and a complete narcissist in his later years.
What’s more, the soundtrack featured some excellent rock selections to punctuate the funnier set pieces. AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Michael Jackson all ensured feet were tapping all the way through. I especially liked the Black Mamba section – Megamind’s biggest cape ever had its own theme tune!
Don’t listen to the lukewarm reviews – this film had me in stitches, and I’ve seen all the major children’s movies at the cinema this year thanks to the local kid’s club. Megamind trounces Despicable Me, and in the eyes of my under-10’s, it was even better than (gasp) Toy Story 3!