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The Independent Critic

VOCAL WORK BY
Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey, David Cross, Aramis Knight
DIRECTED BY
Tom McGrath
SCREENPLAY
Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons
MPAA RATING
Rated PG
RUNNING TIME
96 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
DreamWorks Animation
DVD EXTRAS
Suffice it to say there are a TON. Easily worth it!
 "Megamind" Review 
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Equal parts Superman and The Incredibles, but never quite measuring up to either one, Paramount's latest animated feature, Megamind, is still a surprisingly witty and entertaining jaunt through superhero atrocities and Metro City.

Megamind (Will Ferrell) is a misfit evildoer who loves to terrorize Metro City, much to the dismay of his nemesis and the town's closest thing to a hero Metro Man (Brad Pitt). Toss in a plucky and sexy reporter and Metro Man's girlfriend, Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey), along with a dweebish cameraman turned baddie (Jonah Hill) and you have the makings of a larger than life, 3-D superhero extravaganza that may actually be as appropriate for adults as it is for children.

There's something completely joyous about seeing both Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt play against type, even if it does happen that both are playing animated versions of themselves. In Megamind, Will Ferrell may be the film's bad guy but he's a decidedly genteel and softer creature than we've normally seen from the spastically irreverent actor. Likewise, the normally grounded Pitt gets to be a completely ego-driven, bombastic superhero who may serve as the film's good guy but, well gosh darn it, he just happens to also know he's mighty wonderful.

There's a joy and exuberance in the vocal work of both Ferrell and Pitt that neither actor has exhibited in quite awhile, as if they're able to finally let loose and have a little fun in this fairly methodical yet fully entertaining 3-D adventure.

The fact that Ferrell and Pitt, along with their supporting co-horts, manage to make this entire affair entertaining is somewhat of a surprise given the film's paint-by-numbers superhero cliche's and the decided low-key nature of Metro City itself. Megamind's sidekick is a talking fish in a bowl perfectly voiced by David Cross, and the not so in distress damsel, Roxanne, is voiced with a spot-on confidence by Tina Fey, who when kidnapped by Megamind asks him to stamp her frequent hostage card. Jonah Hill is, as usual, top-notch as the dweeb turned WWE wrestler type who finds himself empowered when Megamind has suddenly dispatched his main arch-nemesis and suddenly finds himself without someone to play with.

Directed by Tom McGrath, who gave us the Madagascar films after years of working on Ren & Stimpy, Megamind is a good film that never quite reaches greatness with humor that consistently elicits smiles but seldom outright laughs. Similarly, unlike The Incredibles and other truly great animated features, Megamind never manages to create characters with whom you will really bond. It's hard to imagine too many children rushing out of the movie theatre and into the local retail outlet to pick up Megamind or Metro Man toys. While both characters are entertaining, they're also instantly forgettable once the closing credits have rolled by.

As entertaining in 2-D as it is in 3-D with a kickin' 80's heavy metal soundtrack, Megamind is a good film and one of the few decent family-friendly options in theatres right now. While its stellar cast could have likely turned this film into so much more, Megamind should still see mega bucks on opening weekend.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  
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