Is Megamind a Megaflop?

Another superhero/supervillain in another spandex suit

Despite his best efforts, the megavillain’s evil plots are thwarted each and every time. But slowly, when all looks lost, he realizes that there is more to life … wait, that’s Despicable Me.

Well, the new redheaded villain — all spandex, dimwits, and bulging muscles — has sworn to kill our protagonist after being shunned … wait, no. That’s The Incredibles.

In Megamind, DreamWorks’ splashy, new feature, the megavillain Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) has finally vanquished his superhero adversary, Metro Man (voiced by a dull Brad Pitt). All of Metro City — or MeTROcity, as Mega likes to pronounce it — is his plaything. City Hall. Metrocity’s money. It’s all his. But day after day of monotonous evilness, without anyone to stop him, Mega finds himself at a loss.[SIGNUP]

Taking matters into his own blue hands, he creates a new superhero (somehow using the essence of the vanquished Metro Man). A worthy adversary to keep things interesting. But instead of creating a superhero, he creates a new supervillain. Who must be stopped.

There is much to like about this film. Will Ferrell is perfectly cast as the voice of Megamind. He, along with costars Tina Fey and David Cross, bring great comic timing to the script. And Ferrell’s Marlon Brandon impression is particularly memorable. And while the visual world looks recognizable, the animation and detail work of Metro City is always exciting. For me, the best visual image was of Megamind talking to the giant statue of Metro Man. It’s a quiet, somber, and surprisingly humorous scene that is simply beautiful to look at.

Despite its best efforts, the story feels a little too familiar. Of course no movie can be 100 percent original, but the viewer cannot help but notice the blatant borrowing from The Incredibles (the super-est superhero movie ever made). And following on the heels of this year’s charming Despicable Me and DreamWorks’ other release, the heart-warming How to Train Your Dragon, the colorful Megamind just pales in comparison. (In theaters.)

My Grade: B-
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