Monday, 6 December 2010


Another animated 3D film comes along and better yet, it's about superheroes (groan) except the twist here is that it's from the point of view of the villain, so is it all bad?

The cast of this is a bit like the Who's Who of Frat Pack/Saturday Night Live etc. with Jonah Hill, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, David Cross and Ben Stiller (with Stiller co-producing as well) all comedy heavyweights and the added Hollywood status of Brad Pitt to boot but do they work? Yes they do. Very well in fact.

I've always wondered how much input stars have with the scripts, after all if you're paying for the talent you might as well let them run riot with the script. By doing so you would get such achievements such as Anchorman which got a lot from improvisation, and you can tell that 90% of all the funniest bits in this film clearly came from improv and are pretty much from Ferrell. People might love or hate him, but I personally think the guy is a genius and will be fondly remembered when we look back at comedy heroes. Sure he sells out quite often, but I think he often makes even the shittiest films funny. That dinner scene in Bewitched? Loved it. His coffee freak outs in Kicking & Screaming? More please. It's just a shame that he is confined to a script, but at least here where you'd think in a medium where improvisation would be least encouraged, he is often able to drop some great one liners. This isn't taking away anything from the script which is funny in it's own right, but if it wasn't for Ferrell's magic, I'd be afraid that it would be a dud.

But before I crawl completely all the way up his arse, I'll tell you what it's about. Megamind is a victim of circumstance and childhood bullying which leads him to use his powers for evil rather than good. This immediately puts him in a more accessible light, Catholics might not rate this film because he's not inherently evil, but the audience can see that he's merely misguided and relishes the attention he gets from performing dastardly tasks rather than nothing at all. He is, after all, an orphan and completely working class. His upper class nemesis is MetroMan (aka Brad Pitt) who is smarmy, slick and arrogant yet believes in justice. After an unfortunate mishap, Megamind is soon left with free reign over the city until he gets bored. In his boredom he creates Titan who is a petty, selfish stalker who uses his powers for bad, perhaps proving that some people are inherently evil after all. As well as all this, Megamind is falling in love but never does this get in the way of the story, in fact it helps steer it forward.

Pitt does his charming superhero to the tee, but never is he truly funny, but then I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be. Fey plays the strong female reporter well without any glitches but it's Cross, Hill and Ferrell that really make the show. Cross as Minion is more like a room-mate than a servant and Hill can easily make you feel disgusted yet amused at the same time, a trait he pulls off quite a bit. You could read Megamind's fight with Titan as Dr Frankenstein's battle with his own monster, a monster that is full of immaturity, selfishness, nihilism and essentially is a sociopath. In order to truly grow up, he must accept and conquer these inner demons which have formed into Titan. Of course this is reading into it a bit too much for a kids film, but all the best kids films have deeper adult undertones.

All in all, I enjoyed the story and the 3Dness of it was appealling but Will Ferrell gives a great bad guy performance that will make kids and adults both laugh. There's enough here as well for adults to go to without kids (like myself - cough) such as Ferrell's Brando performance from Superman, and Mark Twain's quote that rumours of his death have been 'greatly exaggerated' and stuff that the kids are too stupid to figure out, probably. Doogie Howser would have known though.

Overall, I enjoyed the film but it wasn't amazing, it had some really good, funny moments and looked great but lacked a real punch that makes it different from other animations. Though it is definitely one of the best released this year. You won't be disappointed if you made an effort to see it.

Rating: 7/10

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