Director: Tom McGrath Release date: 03/12/10 Link: IMDB Suffering from superhero fatigue yet? Can’t say I’d blame you. Ever since X-Men found commercial success in 2000, films in this particular category have multiplied at the theatres faster than mogwai's splashed with water. And it doesn’t look like there is any end in sight either. (In the next two years alone plan on seeing the faces of Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Thor and The Avengers popping up at the multiplexes.) If you’re sick and tired of all these motion pictures that center around caped and masked crusaders, don’t expect Megamind to be the cure for what ails you. And that is terribly frustrating given that DreamWorks Animation’s latest entry tries to take an aberrant approach by putting all of its focus on the antagonist and not the protagonist. (Yes, I realize Despicable Me touched on similar points earlier this year, but it’s not like the two movies are exact replicas of each other.) But even though Megamind tries so desperately to break new (or less travelled) ground, director Tom McGrath’s film is riddled with so many clichés it feels like every other superhero movie you have ever seen before. That’s kind of understandable since Megamind is mostly a parody of the genre — specifically Superman — but a majority of the humour doesn’t have the needed bite because screenwriters Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons usually go with the obvious punch lines. (The handful of musical numbers are also embarrassingly excruciating.) Be that as it may, Schoolcraft and Simons’ script does have a few moments of brilliance, especially when we learn the back-story of Megamind (voiced wonderfully by Will Ferrell), a blue extraterrestrial whose head resembles the shape of a light bulb. Much like the Man of Steel, an infant Megamind is packed into a miniature capsule by his parents and sent to Earth when his home planet begins to crumble like the flaky crust of an apple pie. During his one-way trek in space he meets his future and more talented arch-nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt), who will later become the saviour of Metro City. When the two finally make it to their final destination, Metro Man lands in the lap of luxury and has everything handed to him on a silver platter, while Megamind crashes in the yard of a prison full of the world’s most ruthless criminals. (“Even fate picks its favourites,” Mega-mind complains.) No matter how hard he tries, Megamind is always the odd man out, so he eventually decides to become a super-villain and torment Metro Man to the best of his abilities. Throughout the years Metro Man always has the upper hand because of Megamind’s ineptitude, but for reasons I will not explain here the blue alien finally gets his day in the sun when his adversary is no longer capable of keeping evil from infecting Metro City. Megamind is now free to run rampant through the streets and cause mischief at every turn, but after a while he loses all interest because Metro Man isn’t there anymore to thwart his malicious schemes. Business has become just a little too easy, you see. Wanting his life to go back to the way it was, Megamind devises a plan to create a new hero — one that will challenge him in every facet of the game — but as usual, things go awry when TV reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) and her cameraman Hal (Jonah Hill) get caught in the crossfire. And with Metro Man no longer there to save the day, it’s up to Megamind to become the knight in shining armour that everyone needs. As with any film that features superhuman protectors of justice, Megamind is heavy on the action, and it’s fast-paced action that is easily enjoyable. Since the film was shot in 3-D, it seems like you are right there alongside the flying characters as they swoop between and over Metro City’s massive skyscrapers. Megamind is one of the few movies that gets the use of 3-D right. And even though the comedic elements in Schoolcraft and Simons’ screenplay don’t hit their mark on a consistent basis, Ferrell and his distinctive voice provide Megamind with more laughs than it probably deserves. The way he mispronounces words like school and melancholy will make you wish he lent his talents to animated films on a regular basis. The guy just knows how to deliver great comedy even when the dialogue isn’t up to par. But let me be clear, Megamind doesn’t always try to go for your funny bone. The tone often shifts from playful to serious, and it’s these moments that make the film feel a bit stale. Megamind never becomes as saccharine as Despicable Me, but its themes about the responsibilities of superheroes have been done so many times before. Megamind isn’t necessarily a bad movie — it just doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. If you won’t take my word for it, the actions of the pair of young kids who were sitting behind me at the theatre should do the trick. As Megamind started, the two were giggling uncontrollably and kicking the back of my chair as if they were extras from Footloose, but after about 30 minutes, I didn’t hear a peep from them for the rest of the movie — that is, except for the times they let out huge, deafening yawns. That, my friends, should tell you all you need to know. Photobucket