Megamind

Perfection is hard to compete with.  No one knows that better than Megamind.  From the time he was a baby he has been trying to outdo his perfect fellow alien, Metro Man.  See, the two tykes came from different dying planets and landed on earth, but while Metro Man landed in the life of luxury, Megamind landed behind bars in a prison facility.

This isn’t where Mr. Perfect and the blue-skinned second best part ways, however.  Not only does the duo grow up together and attend the same school, constantly trying to outdo one another, but they take their rivalry far into adulthood— and into their professions.  Metro Man grows up strong, fast, and handsome; Megamind does not.  He’s blue, a beanpole, and he’s got massive cranial capacity to house his above average intelligence.  It’s like destiny has tied them together, and Metro Man always outshines Megamind.

So, since Metro Man has all the makings of a super hero, what does that leave Megamind with?  Well… villainy.  While it isn’t as glamorous as Metro Man’s job description, Megamind is determined that he’s going to become the smartest, badest, most capable villain ever!  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?

Thus Megamind and Minion (his, well, minion) go into the baddy business and spend their lives trying to one-up Metro Man and take away his ever present spotlight.  It appears, however, that Megamind and Metro Man are in a vicious cycle.  Bad guy schemes and steals girl (news anchor Roxanne who is rumored to be Metro Man’s girlfriend), hero comes to the rescue with his cape flapping in the wind, bad guy tries to trap hero, yet hero manages to be the best by the end of the day.  And by the end of the week.  And by the end of the year.  And by the end of- well, you get the picture.

Then one day the unthinkable happens.  Megamind wins!  Or does he?  Once Metro Man is finally out of the way, it seems like Megamind is out of a job.  How can you be a villain if there is no hero to battle against?  Well, this just cannot be tolerated.  Megamind must do something about his lack of employment and enjoyment.  So, the bulb-headed Einstein decides to put all his genius together and create a hero!

Heroism

Megamind’s characterization is what really makes this movie great.  From his witty one liners, his epic mispronunciations, and his soft-hearted attempts at being a villain, Megamind becomes endearing very quickly to the audience.  While it can be said that this blurs the lines between the good guy and the bad guy, this movie takes a surprising turn that makes a clear distinction between true heroes and true villains.

You see, Megamind isn’t really a bad guy.  He’s created himself to be a villain, yes, but he doesn’t really want to be that guy.  He wants to be loved, appreciated.  He’s just never really had that.  The problem is that Megamind has allowed society to dictate to him what he should be and who he should become.  Because he doesn’t look like a superhero, he obviously must be the villain.

As the plot plays out through the movie we begin to see Megamind changing.  His personality doesn’t really alter, but his though process and self perceptions do.  He begins to realize that it is a person’s actions that matter, not what they look like or what is expected of them.  By the end of the film, Megamind has learned that “Destiny is not the path that’s given to us, but the path that we choose for ourselves.”

Something that really stuck out to me about this movie was the fact that Megamind doesn’t just redeem himself by the end of the movie.  Instead of ending with his redemption, this movie goes a step further and shows Megamind actually apologizing and repenting of his past actions.  He works to restore a friendship and tells Metro City how sorry he is for the wrongs he has done.

Friendship and loyalty are central to the theme of this film, particularly between Megamind and his ever present best friend, Minion.  Minion has been with Megamind from the beginning and continues to stick with him through the hard and dry times.  Minion’s devotion and ability to see the real Megamind is endearing.

Megamind truly becomes a hero in this movie.  While Metro Man was Metro City’s golden boy, he never really had to put his life on the line and stick his neck out.  He was just good at everything.  Megamind, on the other hand, literally goes to great lengths in order to overthrow his hero/villain creation, to the point where he is willing to die for Roxanne and the City.

Villainy

Violence is always everyone’s first question when it comes to a superhero movie.  In this movie we have multiple super heroes and multiple villains (some of them switching sides during the course of the movie).  The super characters punch, kick, and blow stuff up, but all of it is within the confines of typical cartoon destruction.  However, the beginning of the film does start out with the destruction of a character that is reduced to skeletal remains by a sunray blaster.

Megamind likes his techno gadgets, so a lot of the destruction comes from weapons like the freeze-drying ray gun (which don’t actually kill people; it just reduces them to a small cube until they come in contact with water).  There are explosions and heat vision destruction, but nothing gruesome.  Although, there is the humorously named forget-me-stick, which is essentially a club used by Minion to knock people out.   Also worth mentioning is that in the beginning of the film Megamind is trying to help sell his villainy to the audience by pointing out things like his custom-made baby seal leather boots.

Perhaps the biggest negative element is the bumbling buffoon of a villain, Hal.  Hal used to be Roxanne’s lovesick camera man before accidentally being turned into MegaMind’s new superhero (he is given some of Metro Man’s DNA to accomplish this).  Hal exhibits villainy quite nicely for us, as well as demonstrating idiocy.  For example, in order to prove his invulnerability, Hal gives himself a “super wedgie”.  In addition, he also tries to make Roxanne fall in love with him by dropping her from a building and then rescuing her.

Other negative elements in the film is the song Highway to Hell, a line about the point of lying being that no one will find out, and a reference to “god-like” powers.  There is also a near death experience played up in the end of the film and Minion talks about Megamind’s parents smiling down from “evil heaven.”  Oh, and there is a glass of champagne shared by two character.  In addition our characters wear the typical skintight hero suites.  The attractive Roxanne has a few sculpted outfits, and Metro Man is seen in his bathrobe.

Language comes in the form of words like “Freakin” and “crap nuggets”.  There are a couple of uses of “good lord,” “god,” and “gosh”, which we could all live without.

 Conclusion

The film is fun, fresh, and original, often poking fun at some of the typical clichés that come with the hero genre.  There aren’t really any supersized problems, and the film avoided some of the toilet humor that can be present in DreamWorks pictures.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, which surprised me because I went into the film skeptical.  This movie offered a lot of laughs, especially for me as a writer, and had some good things to think about.  It challenged without cramming.  The true hero of the film was thoroughly enjoyable, perhaps more so because of his faults.  Megamind certainly lost his way in life, but in the end he has the courage and determination to replant his feet and say he’s sorry.

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  1. I very much agree with your assessment. It took a few watches, but this film grew on me. The writing is brilliant; great story and great characterization. The theme is off in a few places, but overall it’s a great message. The content is worth noting, but it doesn’t kill it.

  2. I agree. I was surprised at how deep the movie was in some places. I seem to pick up new things each time I watch it. That i something I love about a movie.

  3. I loved how the film was able to keep its goofy-ness and still be able to be sincere and make you care for a man with a giant blue head.

  4. Yes! I love this film! 😀 Nice review, Kaitlyn.

  5. Agreed, Joe. 🙂

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