Well, this certainly has been the week of the rip-off, er, ‘homage.’ First, Due Date tips its hat to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and now Megamind pays tribute to Steve Carell’s Despicable Me. I guess the studio figures it has been almost four months, the kids won’t remember. In any event, it’s a cute story with loads of humor for the grown ups as well as the children.
Megamind (Will Ferrell) is sent to earth just as his alien planet is about to be destroyed. At the same moment, another alien baby is also hurtling toward earth. The fates of the two, however, will be very different. Megamind’s pod lands in a maximum security prison, where he is taught about wrong and right…in reverse. The other pod lands under a Christmas tree in the friendliest, fanciest home in town. This baby grows up to become Metroman (Brad Pitt), defender of the innocent and enforcer of justice.
For years Megamind and Metroman battle, and, as Megamind says, sometimes he loses and sometimes he almost wins. It isn’t until Megamind wins and destroys Metroman that he realizes his problem: the fun was in the fight. With no Yin to his Yang, Megamind’s life is empty. So together with a local reporter, Roxanna Ritchi (Tina Fey), who is also the object of his affection, Megamind sets out to create a new nemesis.
The interesting thing here is exploration into the concept of the villain winning the day. What would Lex Luthor do with no Superman there to stop him? Unfortunately, this is another shrug film, not offensive, but also not side-splitting. Most of the comedy comes from Megamind’s minion (David Cross) and Fey’s Roxanne Ritchi, who is, ironically, weary of the lack of originality in the super-villain story.