Megamind - Blu-ray Review

'forces Megamind himself to consider the place of evil when good no longer exists. For a time it gets quite existential'

The sort of harmless animation that ticks all the boxes without getting anywhere near greatness, Megamind does at least come out just ahead of fellow lets-focus-on-the-villain-for-a-change effort, Despicable Me. Where that film relied on its 'minions' to get all the laughs, this goes for pure and unadulterated star power; Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller and J K Simmons all pop up in a variety of voice roles.

Although there's the increased quality behind the vocal work, the main reason for Megamind's glorious victory over its rival is the route writers Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons choose to take once we've established we need to sympathise somewhat with the villain (Ferrell). Where in Despicable Me this occurred almost solely through a 'love conquers all' type story, Megamind takes a much more interesting route entirely, showing nous and understanding of comic-book structure and forcing Megamind himself to consider the place of evil when good no longer exists. For a time it gets quite existential.

That said, director Tom McGrath has little option but to take us back to making Megamind look slightly better than the next best/worst alternative (Hill) and from then on the film largely resorts to type.There's some decent jokes and a few nice bits of action but everyone feels very one dimensional and the film's very own Minion (David Cross - its a singular Minion rather than Despicable Me's plurals) doesn't get the laughs he needs to and, therefore, the sympathy the plot somewhat relies on.

The other noticeable element to the film on home viewing is just how weighted it is towards a 3D market. It's no secret that films 'shot for 3D' look to use the medium in every way possible and once you know this it's easy to pick out the shots that particularly seek to take advantage of it. In Megamind, they're present every seven minutes or so. Things flying into the camera, people pointing at you for no reason, floaty things where normally there wouldn't be floaty things. If your eyes are attuned to it it'll be distracting, unless you're watching on a 3D TV of course, in which case this may be the best tech demo currently available.

Look further...

'maybe I’m too old to appreciate the humor in using songs like “Kung-Fu Fighting” in a movie where a panda uses kung-fu, or maybe I’ve been spoiled by Pixar. But these little things continue irk me in just about every Dreamworks film I see' - Careful With That Blog Eugene


  1. Its films like Megamind that played into the reason why I stopped writing on my blog (temporarily). I watched it and found it hard to write about it.

    I'm not sure I like Dreamworks policy of it hiring stars as it perhaps leads to the charcaters identity is too similar to the actors' personality.

    It looks stunning and i never noticed the 3D element, (thought it was more a riff of comic book panel composition) and I'm sure kids would be interested in it, I know i liked it but it feels like it tried to capitilise on the spate of superhero films rather than carve out an identity of its own.

  2. It is very difficult to write about films which are very definitively average in a number of areas. I don't like the 'lets cast a big star' mode of thinking when it comes to animation but it did distract me less here than in RIO but you're right, the characters do end up mimicking the actors (or the other way round!).

    The CGI is good without a doubt. Rarely is it the case these days when that isn't true of an animated film though.