While DreamWorks have nailed the sleek, often breathtaking animated visuals that typify Pixar offerings, they still haven’t managed to replicate their emotional depth.
Typical. You wait years for an animated comedy about a super-villain with a conscience, voiced by a well-known comic actor, and then two come along, mere months apart. After Steve Carrell, plus comedy accent, delivered healthy returns for Universal in Despicable Me, Will Ferrell takes on a worryingly similar role in the DreamWorks offering Megamind. If the Teletubbies taught us anything, it’s that kids go gaga for repetition but will the rest of us be so enthusiastic?
Growing up as the outcast, while his classmate Metro Man basks in popularity, Megamind soon finds his place in the world as the bad guy. Spending his days threatening the good people of Metrocity and sparring with his arch childhood rival (now a buff superhero), life is easy for Megamind. But when his plan to kill his nemesis actually works, he’s suddenly thrown into a quandary. What’s a villain to do without a hero to fight?
Toying with the odd existential notion, Megamind proves a somewhat subversive slab of family entertainment. Putting a witty twist on familiar superhero clichés, it’s often reminiscent of Shrek’s playful spin on fairy tales. This means that, as is often the standard now for cartoons, many jokes bypass the kids and go directly to the parents. This is perfectly exemplified in a great Obama-based sight gag and a parody of Marlon Brando’s performance in Superman.
The film also manages to stay mostly unpredictable. Admittedly it does resort to cliché at times (especially in a romantic sub-plot with Tina Fey’s take on Lois Lane) but it does throw up a few curveballs throughout. The downside being that the plotting often seems a bit haphazard and the film eventually feels too long.
Will Ferrell manages to play against type (type being grating and OTT) and together with sterling work from Fey, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt and a wonderful David Cross, the voice cast help to solidify Megamind’s status as a great comedy, rather than just a great animated comedy. The use of 3D is also a surprising bonus. Lately it’s become an inescapable and unnecessary addition to most films but Megamind uses it well, through some impressive aerial shots and the odd ‘OMFG it’s coming right at me’ moments.
While DreamWorks have nailed the sleek, often breathtaking animated visuals that typify Pixar offerings, they still haven’t managed to replicate their emotional depth. There are a handful of attempts in Megamind to tease the heartstrings but they fail to resonate. This leaves us with a funny and charming comedy but one which probably won’t stay with you for very long.
Another animated film. In 3D. With Will Ferrell. Life’s too short for this.
Surprisingly sharp and adult-centric. Excellent use of 3D too.
A fun ride but just that.