Megamind: * 3/4 (out of 4)
It wasn't that long ago that the fight in the animated industry was all about Pixar versus Dreamworks, with competing movies mining the same material from different angles. It started when Pixar put out A Bug's Life, and Dreamworks put out Antz in response. A little while later, Pixar released Finding Nemo; Dreamworks put out Shark Tale. And now, in response to Despicable Me, Dreamworks has released Megamind, the latest tale of super villains gone good...
...no, wait, that's not right, is it? Dreamworks released both of of these films. Err... then what's going on here? Is Dreamworks stealing from itself this time?
Certainly, the two movies are different beasts. Megamind starred comedians Will Farrell and Tina Fey; Despicable Me just starred Steve Carell. See? That's two actors instead of one! And Megamind has two kinds of wacky sidekicks - the brain dogs and the fish guy named Minion - compared to Despicable Me depending only on those yellow minion guys... oh, right, and that backup-mad-scientist guy. Well, at least Megamind has a love interest in Tina Fey! There, that's different!
Of course, there's always the biggest difference: Despicable Me was at least clever and interesting, while Megamind was really pretty boring, bordering on outright bad.
One thing should be made clear right off the bat: the 3D in this movie was bad. I noticed it more for how it got in the way of the action than how it benefited the story; even the "throw things at the viewer" bits were poorly done. The 3D trailers look even worse. We need to stop this 3D onslaught now.
Tina Fey was awful. She seemed both uninterested and uninteresting, both in terms of her character and her voice acting. Jonah Hill was worse. And while David Cross should be beyond reproach, here... well, I didn't really want to believe that he was in the movie. Flat, across the board.
The town of Metro City was remarkably un-fleshed-out. Would it really have been that hard to inject some personality into the town or its inhabitants? This includes Tina Fey's character, as well as the, err, three "civilians" that I remember from the whole movie. (How expensive were voice actors, anyway?).
The music selection was quite strange. We're going to sing "Highway To Hell" and not be able to use the word 'Hell'? Whose bright idea was that? And I guess we're using Michael Jackson songs in movies now? Okay, I guess.
There were some good points mixed into the movie, mind. I did like the few scenes that directly called back to superhero movies of old (read: Superman, especially with the Jor-El references); and the evil-villain set pieces were suitably large and impressive. Farrell and Pitt were perfectly adequate in their roles. The story itself, though over-extended, was fairly interesting and covered ground that was interesting to cover for comic book movies and general. And, all told, Megamind (the character) actually made for an interesting super-villain, with inoffensive quirks and something resembling common sense most of the time.
But, overall... bleah. It's lost nearly a half a star as I've put off writing the review; that's never a good sign. At any rate, I'd recommend avoiding it.
I should note that I attended this movie with my 10-year old cousin, and he loved the movie. So I suppose it's not a complete flop.
Also worthy of note is that the trailers for this movie were far worse than the movie itself. The trailers made the movie look appallingly bad; but most of the traps hinted at in the trailers were avoided handily. Mind, they found different traps instead.