Monday, November 8, 2010

Film Review: MEGAMIND

I took the boys to watch the only animated film out there right now (and they weren't interested in seeing Secretariat), MEGAMIND from Dreamworks.

For those who might not know, the story of this film is that two "babies" are sent to Earth for some reason, sort of a variation on the "Superman" theme where Clark Kent's real parents put him in some sort of spaceship and send him away from their dying planet. The two babies become Metro Man, protector of Metro City, and Megamind, who ended up as a child in a "prison" for the criminally gifted. Voiced respectively by Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell, these two grow up more or less together, attending a school together where Metro Man is always the beloved one and Megamind, with his giant blue noggin, is the outcast.

From there, the story is predictable, riffing on superhero/supervillain stories, with a love story that is just about what you're probably thinking it is. Tina Fey voices lovely news reporter Roxanne Ritchi, who Megamind is constantly kidnaping. That's played as the cliche it is in many of these sorts of stories, and because it's played that way, it actually works. Metro Man is the too-good-to-be-real superhero who is always foiling Megamind's plots, and if I wasn't seeing things, Ben Stiller was credited as the voice of the boring clerk Bernard, whose identity Megamind usurps in order to try to relate to Roxanne.

This movie didn't hold a candle to Dreamworks' last offering, How To Train Your Dragon, as far as the story goes. The look of the movie, especially the city vistas, is really cool. My kids loved the way the skyscrapers looked in Metro City, and I thought it was a beautifully animated movie. The 3D worked really well on this one, and I'm glad we saw it in that version.

And I don't want to suggest that it isn't a fun movie, because it is. Dreamworks' offerings are always a cut above all of the competition not named Disney or Pixar up until now, and this was no exception. It is one I will probably buy on DVD when it comes out.


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