Starring: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill
Director: Tom McGrath
Running Time: 99 mins
Megamind is an American film about a supervillain who, after finally eliminating his arch enemy, discovers that being bad isn’t so great without someone to do battle with.
I was really surprised by how much fun this film was. It’s still not up to the heights of the likes of Shrek and Madagascar, but it’s definitely one of Dreamworks’ best in a long while. With great voice performances, fun action and animation and an impressively well-written story, Megamind is a properly entertaining blockbuster right the way through.
Let’s start with what I liked most about this film, which was, rather surprisingly, the story. Normally, a family-friendly animated superhero film will go through the typical blockbuster beats like a Hollywood machine, but this definitely managed to change the formula up a bit, and with a fantastic degree of success.
Apart from providing a simply enjoyable action plot, everything about this story makes perfect sense. The changing character motivations as the plot unfolds are well-written, with enough exposition to make them coherent, and yet not going overboard with any unnecessary narration and the like. It may seem like a small detail, but given that so many movies will just forgo a coherent plot nowadays, it really made a difference to how much I enjoyed this film.
And emanating from the very well-written story are the characters. Always zany, unpredictable and with fantastically funny back-and-forth, the four or five main characters of this movie are handled brilliantly, particularly for a kids’ film. The supervillain at the centre of the action, Megamind himself, is far more interesting and fun to follow throughout, and his relationships with the people around him, whether they be enemies or allies, work really well, again making for a very smooth and pleasant experience.
All in all, the story and screenplay here are both very solid, as are the voice performances. Although it’s a little hard to see a different character in Will Ferrell’s voice initially, he grows into the role very well as the film goes on, putting in one of his most convincing and entertaining performances in a good while. Also, Tina Fey and Brad Pitt are fantastic in supporting roles, whilst Jonah Hill and David Cross, although they’ve not got the most appealing characters in the world, are just as enjoyable too.
If there is one issue that I’d have with this film, is that it’s not quite as funny as it thinks it is. Enjoyable and entertaining certainly, but there are a lot of jokes that don’t really work out as well as they’re meant to. The kids will definitely have a good time with all the slapstick, but this isn’t one of those animated comedies (like Shrek) that can make everyone laugh their socks off.
Still, Megamind is a hugely entertaining and well-honed animation, with great writing, action and performances throughout. There have been better movies from the genre, but there have been so many worse, and that’s what makes this a properly surprising watch, given just how much fun it is, and that’s why I’m giving Megamind a 7.6 overall.