Monday, September 19, 2011

3 Paragraphs on: Megamind

2010, Tom McGrath -- Netflix

Given the group of people involved, Megamind should be a far, far better film then it is.  With a voice cast top loaded with Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and David Cross, and Guillermo Del Toro and Ben Stiller attached as producers, and hell, even Hans Zimmer as composer, all these parts should have made a pretty great whole.  Where it falls apart -- and don't get me wrong, it's a Sky High-level amusing take on superhero conventions -- is in design and soundtrack.  Its these two aspect that could have lofted it to near-Pixar level entertainment, but instead casts it down to the morass of also rans, which it is largely somewhat better than.

Megamind, voiced by Ferrell, has been at odds with Metro City's protector Metro Man since each were rocketed off from their respective doomed planets towards Earth.  As if fated to be adversaries, Metro Man lives to satisfy his ego of being the greatest hero ever, while Megamind lives to be Metro Man's perpetual nemesis.  When one of his death traps finally succeeds in killing Metro Man, both Metro City and Megamind are beside themselves in despair.  Megamind, using Metro Man's DNA concocts himself a new adversary who turns out to be so much more a villain than he ever was, and thus he must be the difference maker.

It's a fun story with some charming performances, especially as Megamind, in disguise tries and succeeds at wooing the "Lois Lane" of the picture, Roxanne Ritchie (Fey), only to obviously lose her when she discovers his secret.  The character designs are of the typical over-sized head, exaggerated-features variety, a cartoon flourish which seriously needs to go away, while the environment, sets, background are all oversimplified in a way that makes the entire movie seem far too cheap a production to start Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt.  As well, despite having the phenomenal Zimmer available to score, the film is over-saturated with ever goddamn cliched, over-used, hack musical cue (Highway to Hell, Bad to the Bone, Lovin' You, Crazy Train, Welcome to the Jungle, and on and on and on) which, even more than the animation, drags the film down to a patronizing, "yeah, we get it" level.  As well, Metro Man, designed to look, I believe, like Bruce Campbell as Elvis, should have been voiced by Bruce Campbell.  Brad Pitt, for all his talent, isn't cut out for voiceover work.