Megamind comes to earth as a baby – saved from the destruction of his planet by his parents who send him off in a spaceship with only his faithful fish Minion for company. Unfortunately another baby – Metro Man – is sent to earth at the same time and he is everything that Megamind is not; everything goes right for him, while every plan to make friends backfires on Megamind. The rivalry between the two continues into their adulthood – Metro Man becomes the foil to Megamind’s evil genius. By chance, Megamind achieves everything he ever hoped for and begins to wonder, what went wrong?
Megamind is an interesting twist on the super villain story. When Megamind forms a relationship with Lois Lane-esque reporter Roxanne Ritchi we begin to see deeper into the character, other than the mastermind bent on world domination. The character of Megamind is well rounded and the audience can relate to him; after all, we have all come across situations where we can’t do right for doing wrong, no matter how hard we try. Megamind is not as evil as he would like to be – his acceptance of the evil role was conditional on the fact that Metro Man was always better than him. When creates another hero to be his foil and liven up his boring life, he realises that he has more good in him than he thought.
Will Ferrell is on top form as the misunderstood Megamind, and has some of the finest, silliest and most spontaneous lines since Anchorman. “Ow! My gigantic blue head” is a superbly silly stand out. The supporting cast are fine for the most part – Tina Fey plays the bored kidnap victim well, Brad Pitt gives a rare, but nuanced, voice over performance as Metro Man and Jonah Hill plays the geek (again) as Hal. However, it is David Cross as Minion that is the standout. Cross is funny, silly and a properly rounded character that Megamind bounces off perfectly.
The animation is the best we have seen from Dreamworks to date; the 3D enhances the action and is not used as a cover up for a bad story. The jokes are great, especially the nod to Marlon Brando – the film is a twist on the Superman story after all. There are many jokes that will fly over the heads of the kids in the audience, but there is enough slapstick to keep them entertained throughout the film.
At the end of the day, Megamind is not as good as The Incredibles, let’s not go that far, but it is pretty darn good. Parents will enjoy the subtle superhero jokes, and kids will enjoy the fact that Megamind’s schemes backfire… A lot.