| Former “Saturday Night Live” regulars Will Ferrell and Tina Fey lend their vocal talents to this enjoyable, fun-filled animated comedy. Comedian Ben Stiller came up with the premise – “What if Lex Luther finally defeated Superman?” – upon which the movie is based.
The movie opens with Megamind (Ferrell) narrating the origins of his glorious rivalry with Metro Man (Brad Pitt). They both arrived on Earth via spaceships as babies. Metro Man is blessed with invulnerability, the ability to fly and great hair. The blue-skinned Megamind has a swollen cranium that gives him great intellect, which comes in handy when inventing nefarious gadgets.
In a classic case of good vs. evil, it is easy to distinguish the two rivals. Metro Man dresses in a white costume symbolizing purity, truth and goodness. Megamind dons the black outfit and his traveling music includes Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and “Bad to the Bone.”
Megamind routinely kidnaps attractive TV news reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Fey) and Metro Man always saves the day by rescuing her. One of these dastardly schemes accidentally works and the inept villain, who pronounces words incorrectly, finally defeats the revered defender of Metro City. The skeletal remains of Metro Man are that’s left after an explosion.
This leaves the criminal genius and the master of all villainy in charge. Megamind claims the title of Evil Overlord. As “Alone Again Naturally” plays in the background, Megamind becomes melancholy and feels unhappy, lacking purpose, because there is no force of good around to battle against. He decides to create a new superhero from the DNA on Metro Man’s cape.
Lots of surprises await audiences as boos and hisses turn to cheers with exciting twists and unexpected role reversals. This delightful movie is a refreshing change of pace.
Screenwriters Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons in their impressive feature film debut have crafted a story that can be appreciated on different levels by adults and children. The clever dialogue complements the action scenes and a budding romance that develops between two unlikely characters.
Ferrell stands out in the exemplary lead role. His Marlon Brando imitation is a hoot. Fey hits all the right chords in embodying her character’s femininity. Fey and Farrell play off each other with perfect comedic timing that yields a winning chemistry.
Trivia buffs may know that this marks the second time that Ferrell and Pitt have done an animated movie. Ferrell voiced Ted, the man with the yellow hat, in “Curious George” and Pitt did the talking for the title role in “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”
Director Tom McGrath (the two “Madagascar” movies) effectively utilizes 3D technology and employs a patriotic color scheme of red, white and blue. This 96-minute movie proceeds at a zippy pace and the audience’s attention never wavers from the excitement up on the screen.
The musical score by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe is pleasantly stuffed with familiar pop tunes.
The supporting characters include Megamind’s fishy sidekick Minion (David Cross), Roxanne’s nerdy cameraman Hal (Jonah Hill), dweeb intellectual Bernard (Ben Stiller) and the prison warden (J.K. Simmons).
Family audiences finally have something worth turning out in droves to see. This movie is available in standard 2D format, but the preferred way to view it is in either Digital 3D or IMAX 3D.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"