Monday, November 01, 2010

MEGAMIND - Wacky Family Fun

MEGAMIND (animated superhero comedy)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and David Cross
Director: Tom McGrath
Script: Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons
Time: 96 mins
Rating: * * * (out of 4)

Metro Man, Megamind and Roxanne

PREAMBLE: Megamind is what I would call an 'almost-there' movie. It is almost the epic animation that was The Incredibles, almost as hilarious as the Madagascar films and it almost makes you forget you are watching a 3-D movie. When you add up these 'almost points', the score is a family flick that is both fun and funny to watch, whether in 3-D or not.

Here, the 3-D effects are not obtrusive and after a while, you kind of get comfortable and forget you are wearing the 3-D glasses. Which, I must say, is a big plus for the 3-D gimmick. Yes, it is still a gimmick to make you pay more for the ticket.

SYNOPSIS (cut and pasted from the production notes): Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the most brilliant super-villain the world has ever known. And the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way. Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as Metro Man (Brad Pitt) an invincible hero until the day Megamind actually kills him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans.

Suddenly, Megamind has no purpose. A super villain without a superhero. He realizes that achieving his life's ambition is the worst thing that ever happened to him. Megamind decides that the only way out of his rut is to create a new hero opponent called Titan, who promises to be bigger, better and stronger than Metro Man ever was. Pretty quickly Titan (Jonah Hill) starts to think it's much more fun to be a villain than a good guy. Except Titan doesn't just want to rule the world, he wants to destroy it.

HITS AND MISSES: If, after getting rid of Metro Man, Megamind feels lost without an arch-rival, he still has his Muse. It is in the form of the feisty TV newscaster Roxanne Ritchi, played with a huge dose of feminist charm by Tina Fey (pictured). In fact, Roxanne is the heroine and the agent of change for both Megamind and her cameraman Hal (Jonah Hill again) - although not necessary for good.

Megamind is about villainy - and if it is lonely at the top, it is also lonely at the bottom of the moral pool. Writers Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons have penned many interesting characters, some of whom change personality at the turn of a watch bezel. Heroes are boring, and Metro Man is so full of himself that he is clownish and boring. Not so Megamind, though. His encounters with Roxanne sparkle with chemistry and they keep the movie going, both for the kids and adults. And director Tom McGrath, who also provides the voice for a prison guard, keeps the pace fast and the tone goofy.

THE LOWDOWN: It won't blow your mind but it does wonders to your funny bone.


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