I love comic books, and I love animated movies. You would think that putting both of them together would equal movie heaven for me. It did with “The Incredibles.” It doesn’t with “Megamind.”
“Megamind” is the latest offering from DreamWorks. It tries to use comic-book themes to create a comedic take on the genre. Basically, it takes themes from the Superman mythos, puts them in a blender and hits puree. What comes out is unpalatable.
The story begins with the parents of an alien baby putting him in a ship and sending him off a dying planet. This baby is Megamind (Will Ferrell). At the same time, we see the planet next door do the same thing. That planet’s baby is Metro Man (Brad Pitt).
Both babies rocket to Earth. Metro Man lands in the home of a millionaire, but Megamind ends up in a prison. Metro Man becomes the hero, Megamind the villain. How do we know this? Megamind’s parents put a creature known as Minion (David Cross) in the ship, and we all know from the comic books that only villains have minions.
As they become adults, Megamind puts Metro Man in all manner of circumstances where Metro City, their home, must be defended. Covering this for television and getting in on the action is Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey). And of course, Megamind is always kidnapping Roxanne, meaning Metro Man must save her.
But eventually Megamind discovers, by accident, Metro Man’s genre-obligatory weakness: copper. This leads to an unexpected result.
“Megamind” is vapid and not very entertaining. As I watched the movie play out, nothing challenged me. There was no real humor here – a problem for a comedy.
Add to this that we get Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell. He is not funny at all here; his usual simpleton who walks through the world in blissful ignorance is just tiresome.
This movie thumbs its nose at the conventions of comic books and superheroes, and it doesn’t really add to the genre. And while “Megamind” is supposed to be one of those “wonderful” 3-D movies, what that really means here is that it costs $3 more to see it in that format.
So save your money and rent “The Incredibles” instead. It’s light years ahead of “Megamind,” even though it came out six years ago – in 2-D.
Mike Parnell is pastor of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax, Va.
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some language.
Director: Tom McGrath
Writers: Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons
Voices: Will Ferrell: Megamind; Brad Pitt: Metro Man; Tina Fey: Roxanne Ritchi; David Cross: Minion; Jonah Hill: Tighten.
The movie’s website is here.