Director: Tom McGrath
Writers: Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons
Stars: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, David Cross
Studio: Dreamworks Animation
Flipping the script on the superhero flick
The last few years have been good for shaking up the super-hero flick. First, Brad Bird and Pixar gave us a story as much about the mundane alter-egos of a superhero family in The Incredibles. Then Christopher Nolan looked at Batman’s darker side in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Now Dreamworks looks to again twist the genre a bit by telling its story from the perspective of the villain in Megamind.
For the most part, the set-up works as the Will Ferrell-voiced lead is a sympathetic villain, warped by both his prison upbringing and the arrogance and meanness of his childhood rival Metro Man (Brad Pitt). The two have settled into a routine of Megamind escaping from his maximum-security cell, capturing reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) and Metro Man thwarting his plans and locking him up again. So Megamind is surprised as anyone when his nefarious plans to destroy Metro Man finally succeed, and good and evil are thrown out of whack.
With no one to challenge him, Megamind faces an existential crisis and falls in love. The trouble is, you can probably fill in the rest without having seen the film. It’s amusing and silly, and the kids will enjoy it. Plus there are some clever nods to their chaperones, like the Shepherd Fairey-ish “No You Can’t” posters on City Hall. But it’s neither as funny or as touching as The Incredibles, and when it comes to animating superheroes, Pixar’s powers remain unbeatable.