Thursday, November 04, 2010


Three's Definitely A Company Here

The handsomest and most evil genius of all time versus the hero who fights with well-coiffured hair and a smirk, and a hero wannabe who decides that his newly gained powers is an avenue for sloth and riches. If there's one thing consistent in Megamind the film, that will be the huge ego issues everyone seems to possess, from Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) to Metro Man (Brad Pitt) to Tighten (best kept under wraps in case the trailers haven't ruined the surprise).

Megamind touches on the classic tale of purpose, destiny and purpose. I wanted to prefix those attributes with “human”, but these two sworn enemies of Metro City actually hail from outer space, where their home planets get engulfed by a black hole, but not before both get to spiral out of their planets through their rocketships ala the mythos of Superman. Finding themselves landing on earth, one becomes a city's protector because of the good nurturing done, while the other got the shorter end of the stick landing inside prison, and through a series of misfortune decided that enough's enough, and throws his weight on the other side of the moral spectrum.

The film turns the superhero genre on its head, and one of the most obvious spins the storytellers here have a field day with is Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster 's Superman, with Metro Man clearly modelled after the Last Son of Krypton with his do-gooder ways and blessed with similar superpowers of flight, strength and that heat vision, and Megamind that of Lex Luthor, but infused with a lot more comedy which also came courtesy of a fishy sidekick aptly called Minion (David Cross). Then there's Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) who is the equivalent of Lois Lane, the news reporter with whom everyone associates a love relationship with Metro Man, and Hal (Jonah Hill) her geeky cameraman for the TV news channel who clearly has the hots for her. You'll earn your ticket back with a penny for every Supes related element discovered in the film.

It's the familiarity of the characters here that augments the enjoyment of this animated piece by Dreamworks, and clearly when done right like the film here, it's a whole lot of fun, and brilliantly animated as well with a decent romantic core the catalyzes the second half rivalry between Megamind and his creation. The film plays on the notion of how there has to be evil in order for good to triumph over, of how we prepare for war to keep the peace, and how heroes get defined by the villainy they go up against. That, as well as the usual never judging a book by its cover and the likes of the usual moralistic messages in Alan J Schoolcraft and Brent Simons' story, makes it rather preachy at times.

But for comic book and superhero fans, this film probably addresses square on why villains appeal, because they make the heroes look good, and if there should be the disappearance of either side, the entire sense of purpose would probably vanish, and interest waned. It is this thought that gets played out in a lot of detail in Megamind as the anti-hero struggles to find his place in society, and discover good values that far outweigh what he has been conditioned for.

An eclectic soundtrack of contemporary songs also fit in well into the film, and one from the late King of Pop naturally found its way into the finale. With a host of voice talents such as J.K. Simmons, Justin Theroux and even Ben Stiller at its disposal lending cameo appearances, Megamind has what it takes to entertain, and although I didn't watch this in 3D, none of the scenes witnessed do require that format, other than for a handful of deliberately created ones which I thought Metro Man's flight in the beginning of the film en route to his rescue of Roxanne, will probably take the cake.

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