Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

“Megamind” impresses with acting, but otherwise disappoints

“Megamind,” just nationally released this past Friday after much anticipation, delivers some unforgettable acting, though its plot is underdeveloped. The country’s most recent animated gem, the film features twists and turns not unlike this summer’s hit, “Despicable Me.”

Directed by Tom McGrath, ”Megamind” takes a somewhat familiar route to that of “Despicable Me,” as it carries the same type of cinematic recognition. This film tells the story of the bad guy suddenly realizing that it is more fun to be good, and less exhilarating to be the destructive force he is so accustomed to being.

The title character, Megamind, voiced by Will Ferrell, is a clumsy super villain with an ever-growing hatred for the beloved superhero Metroman, who is brought to life by the brilliance of Brad Pitt. Megamind constantly loses his battles with Metroman every time. It seems accurate to say the good just barely outweighs the bad. In the meantime, a villain’s desire for compassion leads him to the love of his life.

If not for the outstanding voice-over performances by an all-star cast, the film, which was essentially a lackluster regurgitation of “Despicable Me” with a more poorly written script, would not be doing as well as it is. It is not as if the characters can save every poorly drawn up concept in this film, such as the average character design and bland environmental scenery. While the memorable storyline is certainly nonexistent and the visual effects are not clearly thought out, the film could not have a more complete cast to save it from being a blockbuster failure.

Will Ferrell is brilliant in his role as Megamind, the bad guy who sees his life change before his eyes. His comedic acting is perfect for the role of villain in this film simply because his acting strengths have the ability to carry most of the films he is in. Ferrell is scarily good at making the audience laugh even when they may not supposed to be laughing. It is very hard, as the story goes on, to hate his character because of his satirical investment in depicting the ideal villain. Ferrell most certainly delivers one of the best performances.

Brad Pitt, and his character Metroman, seemed very built-up, but failed to deliver the performance expected. Metroman appears briefly at the beginning of the film for an acceptance speech only to make another appearance towards the end of the movie. Pitt’s appearance is closer to a cameo than a feature role. If viewers are expecting Pitt to be the action hero he has been so frequently cast as over the years, they can expect to be drastically misled. Pitt’s acting seems decent, but proves to be overshadowed by the expectations of what his advertised role was meant to be.

After incredible hype of the hero-villain complex between Metroman and Megamind, viewers may feel cheated. While one trailer paints Megamind as the villain, another floating around the internet portrays Megamind as the good guy. Disappointment may be the most significant reaction to the relationship between these two characters throughout the movie. That alone may be enough to leave the exiting audience with a feeling of disgust.

Moving away from these two prominent actors, fans will enjoy the impact the character Roxanne, voiced by the incomparable Tina Fey, has on the film. Roxanne is a news anchor who chronicles the life of Metroman, but does a full 180 when she becomes the primary affection of three different men throughout the film.

Jonah Hill, who voices a camera operator named Hal, partners up with his object of desire, reporter Roxanne. His growing affection and borderline obsession for the girl becomes so strong that affection turns to rage. Caught in a moral dilemma, we soon realize that Hal succumbs to his weaknesses. As a result, Hal transforms from unknown to unwanted as he quickly becomes the centerpiece in what could be called a Thanksgiving feast. Hill delivers in what has become a comfortable role for him as the shy, nerd who has to fight and claw his way up to get the girl he truly desires (see “Superbad”).

David Cross as Minion is a somewhat underrated performer in the film. Assigned the role of guardian and confidant to Megamind, Minion immediately develops as a key piece of the puzzle. While Megamind is torn between his evil reign and his long lost happiness, Minion acts as both a speed bump and a catalyst for justice. His split persona is not so evident in his personality, but more in his choices. In a truly terrific performance, Cross impressed the audience with his boyish voice and handy right-hand man attitude.

In summary, “Megamind” is an entertaining film for kids – as all animated movies have become. In a decade’s time, animated films have become popular crossover films that represent a concentrated conceptual understanding of reality. Animated films have become an acceptable genre of film for all audiences and that was due largely in part to financial successes such as “Finding Nemo” and “Ice Age.”

“Megamind” is a great movie to take your kids to, but not for a college audience or anyone expecting something impressive from the film. While a time-killer for underage kids, this is not the film that would be particularly enjoyable for anyone older than the age of 12.

Tyler Manoukian can be reached at [email protected].

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