GENRE: CGI super adventure
THE PITCH: The beloved guardian of Metro City, Mega Man (Brad Pitt) is fatally thwarted by his longtime nemesis - the blue-domed brainiac, Megamind (Will Farrell). Quickly bored from his conquests, Megamind devises a plan to create a new hero, Titan (Jonah Hill) to add the fun back to his villainous ways.
MONEY SHOTS: Megamind makes a show-stopping entrance in his attempt to rescue TV reporter Roxie Ritchi (Tina Fey) from the clutches of the hero gone bad,Titan. Cue the smoke machines, lasers and 3D floating head and you get a great scene that has the kids saying, "whoa!" After Megamind frees Roxie and tries to get her to safety, a frustrated Titan picks up half of a building and hurls it towards his new foe. The visual effect of smashed concrete, rubble and shattered glass is spectacular.
BEST LINES: Roxie is bored by the stereotypical terror traps after being captured and asks, "Can someone please stamp my frequent kidnapping card?" to which Megamind replies, "... You of all people should know we discontinued that promotion." Geeked and excited about the plan to take Metro City back from Titan, Roxie offers, "I say we go back to the evil lair, grab some ray guns, turn 'em sideways and go gangsta on 'em."
ART IN RESIDENT: After taking over Metro City, Megamind plasters the city with posters resembling the "Yes We Can" Obama poster made famous by Shepard Fairey, except his say "No You Can't".
WORD UP: Megamind has an ongoing comedic beat throughout the film as he mispronounces several common words with soft vowels and consonants. First he pronounces Metro City as "Metrocity," and when answering the phone, he says "Ollo" instead of "Hello." There's a few more instances where he puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable but you can find those jokes yourself.
NUMBER OF EVIL GRAND ENTRANCES: Four.
NUMBER OF EXPLOSIONS: Three.
NUMBER OF TIMES ROXIE IS KIDNAPPED: Three.
POKE CLASSIC: Be on the lookout for several classic geek references as the story progresses. After endowing Roxie's slacker camera man with super powers, Megamind disguises himself in a Marlon Brando mashup of Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather and Jor-El from Superman in an effort to train his new charge on how to become a hero. There's a few more in the film, but you should find those on your own.
KNOW YOUR METAL: With so many showy moments for Megamind to shine, there has to be a suitable soundtrack for the blue man in black. His heavy metal intros include "Highway to Hell", "Crazy Train", and "Welcome to the Jungle". Playing DJ to all his evil deeds, his loyal fish-boweled sidekick, Minion (David Cross) keeps the music rocking until he hits the wrong button and you get a dose of "Loving You" by Minnie Rippleton. FYI, none of these songs are on the soundtrack.
BOTTOM LINE: Once again Dreamworks gives us another creepy and dark underdog to fall for. I guess they gave up on the concept of warm and fuzzies and decided to just focus on telling dark comedies within the confines of a CGI universe - and for the most part, its working for them. Ferrell's often pitchy voice and quirky timing perfectly fits his megalomaniacal but clueless cerebral on-screen persona and Tina Fey, who sometimes feeling more like her 30 Rock character than Roxie, is able to keep the male-driven super story sweet. The big miss for this film is the sappy lines from Megamind's best bud Minion as Cross' timid and unsure voice fits the character but is relegated to skewing the film back towards kids with a barrage of one-liners and gag jokes, which is hard to do with all the '80s and '90s pop culture references that glide effortlessly over most kid's heads. With so much adult-themed material on the table, Director Tom McGarth has once again figured out how to walk that fine line between a contemporary kids tale and the dark comedy. McGarth has successfully created this balance in the past with the hit Madagascar films and seems to apply that same formula to Megamind. With so much to take from a cliché story of aliens sent to Earth to become do-gooders and do-badders (yeah, I made it up), this satirical pop culture slugfest has heart, jokes and some clever 3D action to have you laughing and ultimately cheering in the end.
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
--freelance copy editor, available for hire
I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…