These 3D computer animated movies are a really risky gamble for consumers. You have a 50/50 shot at seeing something that's worth your money usually, but when the movie is in 3D and the ticket price could be as much as $15 a person, you damn well better deliver the goods or you're gonna have some really pissed off eyes behind the shaded specs in the theater. Megamind stars the voices of Will Ferrel, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development) and Jonah Hill. Yeah, Brad Pitt doesn't really fit in that comedic lineup but he holds his own considering that his role of the heroic Metro Man isn't meant to be all that funny. In fact the movie isn't really meant to be anyone's except for Ferrel who plays the titular Megamind, the dastardly villain. The movie is from the director who did Madagascar and the production team behind Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The animation is okay and it's full of cheap 3D tricks that are usually reserved for a theme park, but what saves this movie is the fairly original story mixed with the comedic timing of Ferrel and Cross. To my knowledge, Will Ferrel hasn't done any voice work prior to this but I hope he makes another go of it because he's terrific at it. David Cross plays Minion, who is Megamind's henchman. Almost half the scenes in the film are done with those two as the subjects and the jokes are subtle and quick. The animation aids the comedy at times but also stifles it by being...well, animated. There are some animated movies that are so funny that I consider them some of the best comedies of the year they came out; such as the original Shrek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Aladdin to name a few. But, and perhaps it's the lack of inner child in me, I can't ever enjoy a comedic cartoon as fully as I would if it was life action because of that. So in that respect, when an animated movie makes me laugh pretty hard, I feel it deserves the respect that its earned. However with Megamind, the scenes that don't involve those two are still fun, but just barely. Tina Fey is a very funny actress but she's given no funny scenes. Jonah Hill plays his usual fat doofus and stretches his thin threads of comedy to the breaking point. And Brad Pitt seems kind of out of place in this and rather luke warm in the role. The story is relatively good, playing off the lore of Superman and borrowing from other superhero stories. But it's nothing that will blow your socks off. Your kids will like it and you'll love half the film and like the other half. Let me know when Megamind the live action, PG-13 version comes out and I'm sure I'll fully love it then.
Megamind (Rated PG)
Gavin Grade: B-