There are films I watch, expecting them to be comedies and from viewing the trailer, hilarious, but instead they impress me by just being… cool. That is the only way to describe some of these films. The best example of this The Incredibles. As a comedy, there isn’t actually that many laughs but as a film, its brilliantly exciting, engrossing, entertaining and, well… cool!
Megamind fits well into this category too. It’s a lot funnier than The Incredibles but that is hardly a triumph. The difference I did find was that Megamind is trying to be funny, more so than its other superhero counterpart. Unfortunately, it’s not quite got the joke-hit-rate that comedies require.
This didn’t matter though because it was cool. The story is a great idea and the actors they chose to play the characters were genius. Will Ferrell is fantastic as Megamind and his voice has the perfect expression and reaction that you need. On that opposite side is, of course, Brad Pitt who has the voice I could imagine Superman has, so to have him playing this film’s equivalent was another stroke of casting genius.
Like The Incredibles, it’s the use of the superhero stereotype and playing with that which makes this film so inventive. To have Megamind, the (inept) master-criminal, ultimately having to try to save the city is a brilliant play in story-telling and opens up the film for some funny moments but much better scenes and set-pieces. Continuing with The Incredibles comparison, it’s a testament to doing superhero films in animation because the huge battles that take place are very cool to watch and other than The Avengers film, I don’t think you could manage something as epic as those scenes in a live-action film.
One complaint I did find was that the film just lacked a killer edge. The best examples of the animated genre, Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon or (not sure I’ve mentioned it yet) The Incredibles, is that by the time the huge final act of the film and the story reaches its large climax, you are invested in the characters enough to want them to succeed. You feel for the toys in Toy Story 3 when they are falling towards the flames or for the family of superheroes as they are battling and working together. Unfortunately, Megamind is such a comedic caricature that you never really empathise with him. He is steeped in so much comedy and so much of a slapstick fool, that when he is depended on to be the hero, you don’t care as much for him or want him to succeed. It doesn’t take away from how cool those huge battle scenes and superhero-mocking scenes are though.
Overall, Megamind is far from being the funniest film in the animated genre and it’s not close to the incredible The Incredibles but it is a very cool film. It plays with the superhero stereotypes and traditions we have come to know extremely well and manages to turn those on their head in such a fashion that it makes for a very entertaining film.
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)