Tag: Will Ferrell
Director: Tom McGrath
Stars: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross and Brad Pitt.
Just when you thought super-powered shenanigans had lost their lustre, an animated adventure leaps bland reboots in a single bound, acting as a heroic breath of fresh air to revitalise the genre. In the vein of more adult friendly features like The Incredibles, director Tom McGrath takes an extremely predictable and clichéd plotline and injects twists and turns and a decent dollop of personality that will have you giggling with glee and rooting for the bad guy.
It should be of no surprise that Tom McGrath finds himself tweaking tried and tested formulas of animation and following a different path. After getting his start as a storyboard artist on Ren and Stimpy, he stepped up to write and direct both instalments of the Madagascar franchise, and while they weren’t groundbreaking in any way, shape or form, they did pave the way for this entertaining and action packed ride.
Taking the well-known Superman mythos, Megamind tells the tale of two alien babies, whose destinies are intertwined when a Black Hole destroys both their home planets. Likeminded parents placed both infants in escape pods with a solitary destination in mind, Earth. For one of the children, a life of wealth, opulence and heroism awaits. The other, landing inside the walls of a State Penitentiary, seems destined for a life of crime. So from this tender age the roles have been cast and the stage is now set.
The rivalry between the two has become the stuff of legend in Metro City (or as Megamind pronounces it “metrocity”, much like atrocity), as Megamind is repeatedly defeated by the far superior Metro Man, summarily incarcerated and consequently berated by the warden (brilliantly played by J.K. Simmons – Oz).
When one of Megamind’s schemes actually pays off, he takes over Metro City, but without a caped crusader to hold him in check, his life becomes tedious and pointless. To combat this lack of… combat, he decides to create his own adversary to relive the glory days of good versus evil duelling to the death, and while initially fulfilling, not everything goes as planned and Megamind finds himself at a crossroads. Will he be able to triumph over the evil within, or is he just born to be bad?
Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) plays Metro City’s saviour Metro Man to a tee, and though his part is quite small, he does an adequate job along the way. His nemesis is the brilliant, unhinged and hilarious Megamind (Will Ferrell – Anchorman). Not so much evil, as misunderstood, his has been a lonely existence, bar the companionship of his faithful minion, Minion (David Cross – Arrested Development). Both Cross and Ferrell put in restrained performances, picking and choosing their moments to go big, and the chemistry between them is fantastic.
What would a battle of super beings, be without a reporter hostage thrown into the mix? Roxanne Ritchie is brought to life by Tina Fey (30 Rock) with great sensitivity, a nice change of pace from the usual fiercely independent ladies she usually plays. Jonah Hill (Get Him to the Greek) does a fine job as the round, damaged reporter come hero(?) Tighten, though the role is no stretch by any means.
Littered with pop culture references, actual 3D that works (and is far from gimmicky) and great performances across the board, Megamind is surprisingly more fun than you’d expect and visually astounding. Veteran composer Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight) is completely in his element here and his audio suits the animation perfectly. If you dug The Incredibles, you’re gonna love Megamind.
Megamind opens nationally December 9th.
Review by Dave Kozicki
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton, Ray Stevenson, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, Rob Riggle, Daymon Wayans Jr.