On matters animated and three-dimensional I take my cue from the seven-year-old sitting at my right, who got mega-fidgety about 10 minutes into Megamind, a 3-D superhero story about the villain who—shocking—turns into the good guy. (“Same story as Despicable Me,” said the wee one.) To recap: Will Ferrell, as the titular blue meanie with the giant light-bulb noggin, is forever trying to off Brad Pitt’s Metro Man, the square-jawed guardian of Metro City. Two aliens shot to earth from distant, destroyed plants, theirs is a lifelong back-and-forth-and-back-again—Lex Luthor and Superman oughta sue; so, too, Lois Lane, recast as newshound Roxanne Ritchi (and voiced by Tina Fey as Liz Lemon). But early in the film, Megamind offs (but not really) Metro Man (if Brad Pitt spent more than 19 minutes in the recording studio, he’s a terrible manager of his time), at which point Megamind takes control of the town and realizes—no—that evil without good to kick around is wasted. So off he goes to pick a new fight with Tighten (Jonah Hill, natch), a superpower even more narcissistic than he, which leads—no—to further disaster, at which point it’s Megamind to the rescue. The boy asked me, halfway through: “Is this supposed to be funny?” Dunno, I said. “Because it’s not,” he said. Nor any fun, either. If nothing else, I found my son’s Kryptonite: boring superhero rip-offs voiced by check-cashing actors. At least Steve Carell used an accent.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 3, 2010