Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mega Mind (2010 film)

by DionysusPsyche

Mega Mind is a movie that was released by Pixar directly after Despicable Me (fall vs. summer). Since Despicable didn't awe me enough, I skipped Mega Mind, thinking, "Oh great, another villain/superhero movie." I've also seen The Incredibles and while it was something to do for a couple of hours, it didn't blow me away. I've found that sometimes Pixar is so wrapped up with a message or churning out new flicks (think Wall-E), that they don't fully work through their character development and plot/dialogue. I can't fault them, their audience is only little for so long, so they have to have something in the works at all times to avoid being put on the back burner. Even if they're great, how many Toy Stories can one make?

Looking back now, I wish I had seen Mega Mind and NOT its boring predecessor. The film takes a spin on a normal comic book/super hero movie by starting at the beginning and telling you the back story of the villain, making him more sympathetic. Mega Mind grew up "in a broken home," as he (voiced by Will Ferrell) so aptly puts it. He comes to earth with Minion, his friend and caretaker (voiced by David Cross), and goes to school with the boy who becomes Metro Man. The star of the class. The one everyone loves. No matter how he tries, Mega Mind can't compete with Metro Man. Like any kid that's been punished for accidents, failures, and half-crafted "it seemed like a good idea at the time" flops, he decides to become an evil genius as it fits him to naturally be Metro Man's nemesis and seems to be the life fate handed him.

Metro Man (with Brad Pitt as the voice) has something between Spiderman's fame and public relations and Superman's everything else. He is the savior of Metro City, and he even has his own museum! Roxanne Richie (voiced by Tina Fey) reports on him to the public, and he always saves them from Mega Mind, who is a sub par villain and unbelievably predictable. He can't even scare a kidnapped Roxanne Richie who is all too bored with his evil antics.

Roxanne Richie is a bit like the actress who plays her, but is also reminiscent of Meg from Hercules. She takes quality over quantity and is intelligent. She isn't a gawking Lois Lane or a starry eyed Mary Jane but something made of grit with looks and brains to go with it. While she does get kidnapped frequently, when Metro Man yells, "Don't panic Roxy!," she replies in all seriousness and monotone, "I'm not panicking."

Metro Man addresses his audience
Warning! The following may or may not qualify as spoilers. Read at your discretion or skip to conclusion.

Mega Mind ends up surprising everyone by actually winning a battle against his nemesis. His iconoclastic personality frightens the city and takes him and Minion on a joy ride. Yet, it's a hollow victory. He goes through what happens to everyone at some point in their lives--a specific type of mid-life crisis. He gets exactly what he wants, and then he realizes that maybe it wasn't what he needed or wanted in the first place.

Throughout the rest of the film, Mega Mind spends his time falling in love and realizing that maybe he's better than he always pretended to be. From a young age he always assumed the role of anti-hero, but there are limitations to what he can and can't do as a bad guy. "The bad guy doesn't get the girl!" Minion reminds him.

She's not afraid!
With the help from his friends and foes, Mega Mind learns that it can take your whole life to know what you want to be when you grow up. He finally begins to understand that his impression of who he is and what he thinks he should be are only limiting his options and full potential.

I may watch it again today because it was so great. The dialogue is fantastic, the plot is wonderful, and when I think it zigs it zags. Additionally, the soundtrack was awesome. This film utterly impressed me when I was only expecting a few memorable lines. This is NOT Planet 9 or the lesser of the Pixar films. This one is worth watching and taking a chance on.

1 comment:

  1. I was assuming that it was a kids movie but I saw it last night with my family and we all enjoyed it. It keep everyone smiling till the end.
    Megamind Online