Mega-Mind Movie Review
I once had the privilege of taking my little sisters to see a showing of Megamind at my college. It was their first "big screen" experience, and it seems like they really enjoyed this movie. I'd definitely recommend it to parents as an entertaining, delightful movie for children, that can also be enjoyable for adults.
The plot is in some ways similar to that of Wicked. As Megamind grows up, because of his differences in appearance and personality from "normal" children, he finds himself rejected and tormented, until he discovers what he's good at: being bad. In that, he feels it's his destiny to always fight the hero, Metro Man of Metro City.
When his plans go well one day, which he never expected, he finds that he unintentionally succeeded, killing his arch-rival Metro Man. He had never planned for this eventuality, and finds it hard to adjust to actual success. He then decides to give a nerdy boy (voiced by Jonah Hill of Super Bad fame) super powers, just so he can have an adversary! It seems that Megamind doesn't know who he is without a hero to challenge him. Well, it turns out that this new "hero", Titan, becomes evil himself, abusing his powers instead of using them for good. Titan tries to team up with Megamind, to our villain protagonist's revulsion. Now, Megamind decides that, instead of playing out the same cliché super hero battles over and over again, he now has a chance to use his intelligence and technology for good.
In addition to being an entertaining movie for kids, this movie seems to have a depth that parents and older people can also appreciate. A critic pointed out that in Megamind and Titan, we can see symbolism that links to our partisan politics (Megamind is blue and Titan's uniform is mostly red) and how both ideologies can destroy society. I don't know if the creators intentionally meant any symbolism to be carried by the colors, but Megamind is still a brilliant deconstruction and parody of classic comic book tropes.
But that leads me to perhaps the one issue I take with this film: this is supposedly for kids, and kids don't necessarily have the exposure to the 70+ years of comic book history that their parents or grandparents do. This means, that, when a kid sees a movie like Enchanted, Megamind, or Shrek, they are seeing the deconstruction or parody of something without necessarily seeing the thing that is being lampooned itself.
For example, I grew up watching movies like Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, so when parodies of that "Princess classic" genre came out, I knew what the jokes were referring to. Do kids these days necessarily know this movie's origins in old comic books? I'm not sure. I think movie producers and writers should consider if their target for parody is a little old for their desired audience.
Ultimately though, I like this movie because it balances the idea of parodying old clichés with the desire to still tell an original story. Some of the humor was lame, but the story was original, witty, and charming overall.