“Megamind,” the new animated kid’s flick starring Will Ferrell and Tiny Fey, ponders an age old question, asked by super villains from Lex Luthor to Doctor Doom: What’s the point of being evil is there’s no one there to stop you?
Self described super genius and master of all villainy Megamind (voice of Will Ferrell) has had a lifelong rivalry with Metro Man (Brad Pitt), a hero so special he can literally walk on water. Megamind has been trying to wrestle control of Mega City from Metro Man for years, and despite his best efforts cannot defeat the ridiculously square-jawed hero. That is, until the day he breaks out of jail, kidnaps intrepid girl reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) and finally outsmarts his nemesis. Metro City is finally his but now that his lifelong dream has come true he finds when there is no good guy, no yin to his yang, his evil existence is an empty experience. To combat his boredom he decides to create a superhero to spice things up… of course nothing could go wrong with that plan.
“Megamind” plays like the evil stepchild of “The Incredibles” and “Monsters vs Aliens” with some pop culture references thrown in—like a takeoff on the famous balcony scene from “Superman” and a wild spoof of Jor-El’s windswept hair. It’s a pleasant enough confection, with some genuine laughs sprinkled throughout, but given the talent involved—Ferrell, Fey and David Cross—it should be much funnier.
David Cross and Ferrell make the most out of their characters. Ferrell gives Megamind fun vocal tics—he pronounces Metro City as one long word, Metrossoity—but Fey, in the Lois Lane role, and Jonah Hill as the newly minted superhero, hand in the bland voice work that doesn’t add much to the movie. It’s a shame, spunkier voice work would have wrung a few more laughs out of a script that is more a funny idea than actually funny all the way through.
Little kids probably won’t get—or care about—the “Superman” references or Megamind’s secret taste for Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You,” but they will enjoy the larger than life characters, the 3D slapstick and even take away the message that there is good inside of almost everyone.