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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Megamind

MEGAMIND

** SPOILERS **

Megamind is a wonderfully inventive homage to Superman, flip flopping everything through the point of view of Lex Luthor. Honoring all of the classic tropes of the rivalry between Superman and Lex Luthor (with a nod to Brainiac), Megamind opens with the fiendish Megamind (voiced heroically by Will Farrell) and his lifelong arch rival, handsome champion of do-goodery Metroman (Brad Pitt), both rocketed to Earth from dying worlds as infants. They spent their lives locked in an eternal struggle between Good and Evil - until Megamind accidentally wins.  Now the overlord of Metro City (Megamind gets laughs by constantly mispronouncing words - Metro City becomes "Metrocity" and he pronounces school as "shoole"), Megamind takes slightly longer to get bored with having no one to do battle with than General Zod did when he conquered the White House in Superman II.  Looking for a new rival, he empowers the worst person imaginable, a worthless, slovenly camera operator named Hal Stewart (an amusing in-joke mashup of Green Lantern secret identities), with all of Metroman's powers. Stewart becomes Titan (voiced by Jonah Hill), and quickly becomes an even greater menace than Megamind ever was.  In further references to Superman, Megamind poses as Titan's "space dad" to unsuccessfully train him as a hero, doing a savvy impersonation of Marlon Brando as Jor-El crossed with Don Corleone. Megamind even romances girl reporter Roxy Ritchi (Tina Fey). In Megamind, even the bad guy can get the girl in the end, but only after pretending to be someone else and lying to her constantly.  The voice over work by all the of actors is tremendous, but David Cross was a standout as Megamind's loyal talking fish Minion. (How odd that this year's other excellent animated film about a super villain, Despicable Me, also had minions named Minion.) Chock-full of self-aware, hilarious dialogue, genuine surprises in the story, and a welcome amount of heart, Megamind is the best Superman movie we'll never get to see in live-action. Especially with how Megamind features two characters as stand-ins for the Man of Steel, both of whom are disappointments. When Megamind's end credits rolled, I half-expected to see the writing credit go to Lex Luthor. Megamind would be Lex Luthor's favorite movie. He'd probably even be in tears from sheer joy at the end

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