After seeing Despicable Me the other week, I was more than happy to spend some time this week in the animated company of another evil genius – this time in the 3D shape of Megamind. From the moment that this shiny blue and big-headed alien (aged just 8 days) is ejected from his doomed planet, with nothing other than a very sturdy spacecrib and a fish called Minion to protect him, Megamind is doomed to compete and fail against Metroman, the Brad Pitt of animated superheroes in tights.
Megamind tells the tale of two baby geniuses (or genii), one blue, one ‘normal’, who escape from their imperilled planets and land on earth – one in a mansion, one in a prison. We follow Megamind (Will Ferrell) and Metro Man (Brad Pitt) through their formative years, with Megamind always the last to be picked in the playground and Metro City the one to seduce his peers with endless popcorn bounty and flying tricks. Finally, Megamind realises that his only hope to make an impression is to be a villain and so begins his career of almost beating Metro Man in a series of hyperbolic duels.
Roxanne (Tina Fey) is the Lois Lane of Metro Man’s world and must endure endless kidnappings at the predictable hands of Megamind in his mission to rid the world of its caped defender. She is a news presenter and her cameraman is Titan (Jonah Hill) and therein lies trouble.
Comparisons with Despicable Me are inevitable. While I would agree that Megamind doesn’t have the emotional depth of Despicable Me and the audience isn’t as involved with the mental turmoil of Megamind as one is with the rediscovered humanity of Gru, Megamind is thoroughly enjoyable for a number of reasons. The jokes are very funny and, although the plot does have a certain inevitability about it, there is charm in the way that Megamind falls for the girl and falls victim to his monstrous creation.
The 3D of Megamind is superb. Every little detail has life to it – I was struck by the movement of the hair in particular as well as the tumbling buildings of the city. The colours are as bright as Megamind’s head.
I tend to think that Despicable Me has something special in it to appeal to all ages. It has a smartness about it. Megamind is less subtle and is easier to laugh at, possibly more appealing to the very young. Whether that is true or not, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But do stick to the 3D for this one, it will reward you.