Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn


After Thanksgiving dinner, we went to the local cinema to catch "Megamind," the second movie of the year with a supervillian as protagonist, following summer's "Despicable Me." We were pleased to find that "Megamind" is equally good, and, in fact, quite charming in some ways.

"Megamind", voiced by Will Farrell, is a blue-skinned macrocephalic alien genius, rocketed to Earth as a baby to escape the destruction of his home planet (which was apparently sucked into a black hole). If this sounds familiar, even more famiiar is the origin of Megamind's nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt), shot to Earth from a different dying planet at the same time. Metro Man lands among a wealthy family, who raise the orphan with every advantage. Megamind, on the other hand, crashes into the yard of a prison for incorrigibles. The convicts, improbably enough, manage to keep and raise the baby as a mascot, filling his hungry mind with their warped worldview. When Megamind eventually ends up at the same "school for the gifted" as Metro Man, a rivalry ensues that lasts into adulthood.

Megamind's life changes radically when one of his plots succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, taking Metro Man out of the picture and leaving Megamind as "Evil Overlord" of Metro City (which he pronounces "metrocity" to rhyme with "atrocity"). The movie is full of visual references, but the sequence of Megamind looting the city is especially rich. Not only does he sequester the Mona Lisa, his personal hoard includes the Ark of the Covenant, and what appear to be both Emmy and Oscar statuettes.

Megamind soon suffers from boredom, and begins work on recreating a new superhero to battle. While he's doing this he falls in love (while in disguise) with Lois-Lane-like reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey). She, no longer required as an object for Metro Man and Megamind to fight over, is engaged in researching how to overthrow Megamind.

Nevertheless, Megamind continues in his efforts to create a new Metro Man, and accidentally empowers Hal (Jonah Hill), Roxanne's camera man. Not only does Hal harbor a completely unrequited crush on Roxanne, he is a socially malajusted, lazy, selfish dweeb, who reacts to frustration with petulant physical violence. However, Megamind doesn't know this, and attempts to tutor "Titan" into superherodom, using yet another disguise, taking off Marlon Brando as Jor-El from the "Superman" films. Of course, as ill-begun as this project is, you know it's going to go bad, and does so with a vengance when goes over to the "dark side" and challenges Megamind for the woman, the city, and his life.

How it all works out is very good fun in super-comics fashion. Megamind as a supervillain is obsessed not only with beating the good guys, but doing it with style as well, and his Ming-the-Merciless capes, disguise gadget,adjustable ray-gun, invisible car, and giant war machines are all very cool. He's also loyally served by "Minion," (David Cross) an intelligent talking alien fish, who runs a "Robot Monster" styled cyber-ape body from his fishbowl, and has a horde of flying brain-drones at his command (more or less).

We really enjoyed this film, and,as with most films this year, didn't miss seeing it in 3D a bit.

OK for older children,although they might not get all the jokes or nuances. No sex, nudity, or foul language. Lots of cartoon violence*, but no blood. "Titan" could be quite scary for younger children when rampaging.

*In the partial destruction of Metro City, I was struck by the extent to which the imagery of the September 11th attacks has entered the visual vocabulary, even for "light" fare such as this. The depiction of shattered buidings and falling masonry are in part shaped by the video from that time, and the towers of black smoke looming over the distant city scape were chillingly familar.

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Tags: movies, superheroes, supervillains
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