Right after Dreamworks has done some of their best work (Kung-Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon
were not that long ago), they return to their loose and inconsistent form with Megamind. Extremely entertaining on paper, the film falters in execution and fails to rise above the pacing issues and extremely lackluster direction.
Megamind is an alien sent to Earth as his planet is dying, just like Superman. However, there is another baby, who grows up to be Metro Man, the actual Superman stand-in, who is sent across the galaxy. As Metro Man gets everything in life, and Megamind is forced to live a solitary, jealous life, their careers and motivations are set.
Megamind often spars with Metro Man, who is too busy being awesome and saving intrepid reporter Roxanne. Early on in the film, Megamind finds out the weakness that can affect Metro Man, and defeats him once and for all.
Not having anything to do, he misses his sparring sessions and begins hanging out with Roxanne in disguise. Still not convinced he has found his purpose, he clones Metro Man's powers and gives them to Hal, a cameraman with a low moral fiber.
See what I mean? This sounds extremely interesting. The film though, refuses to go beyond the obvious superhero references and a languid pacing that does not deliver on the funny. Especially as Megamind begins teaching Hal about the goodness of everything by disguising himself as Marlon Brando - I know, not subtle - the script all but sputters to death.
The voice acting is a major problem through. Having hired top talent for the film, director Tom McGrath must have thought he's done. The leads (Will Ferrell as Megamind, Brad Pitt as Metro Man, Tina Fey as Roxanne, and Jonah Hill as Hal/Titan) are often great, and mostly quite fun, but they distract quite a lot. The voice acting is just this side of you knowing who that person is and not being able to get it out of your head.
The whole film has that feel of a project that could have used some tightening-up to finalise it - maybe better editing would have helped. As it stands, this is a decent animated action film that does okay for itself, but in the shadow of The Incredibles
, probably the best superhero film ever made, it falls woefully short of expectations.