‘Megamind’ Impresses With Vocal Acting

Megamind,” just nationally released this past Friday after so much anticipation, delivers some unforgettable acting, and at the same time under developed plot. The country’s most recent animated gem, features twist and turns not unlike earlier this year’s hit, “Despicable Me.”

Directed by Tom McGrath, the film takes a somewhat familiar route that “Despicable Me,” as it carries the same type of cinematic recognition. This film tells the story of the bad guy suddenly realizing that it is more fun to be good, and less exhilarating to be the destructive force they are so accustomed to being.

The title character, Megamind, played by Will Ferrell is a clumsy super villain with an ever-growing hatred for the beloved, Metroman who is brought to life by the brilliance of Brad Pitt. Megamind constantly loses his battles with Metroman every time. It seems relevant to say the good just barely outweighs the bad. In the meantime, a villain’s desire for compassion leads him to the love of his life.

If not for the outstanding voice over performances by an all-star cast, the film, which was essentially a lackluster regurgitation of “Despicable Me” with an even poorer written script, would not have done as well as it did. It is not as if the characters could save every poorly drawn up concept in this film – such as the average character design and bland environmental scenery. While the memorable storyline is certainly nonexistent and the visual effects are not clearly thought out, the film could not have had a more complete cast to save this film from being a blockbuster failure.

Will Ferrell is brilliant in his role as Megamind – the villain who sees his life change before his eyes. His comedic acting was perfect for the role of villainy in this film simply because his acting strengths have the ability to carry most of the films in which he is featured. Ferrell is scary good at making the audience laugh even when we may not supposed to. It is very hard as the story goes on to hate his character because of his satirical investment in what an ideal villain should be. Ferrell most definitely delivered one of the best performances.

Brad Pitt played Metroman, and his character seemed very built-up, failing to deliver the performance expected. Metroman appeared briefly at the beginning of film for an acceptance speech only to make another appearance towards the end of the movie. What was advertised as a star role with Ferrell as his counterpart never seemed to materialize. Pitt’s appearance was closer to a cameo than a feature role. If viewers are expecting Pitt to be the action hero he has been so frequently cast as over the years, than they can expect to be drastically mislead. Pitt’s acting seemed decent, but proved to be overshadowed by the expectations of what his advertised role was meant to be.

After incredible hype of the hero-villain complex between Metroman and Megamind, viewers may feel cheated, or in a sense lied to. While one trailer painted Megamind as the villain, another floating around the internet portrays Megamind as the good guy. Disappointment may be the most significant reaction to the relationship between these two characters throughout the movie. That alone, may be enough to leave the exiting audience with a feeling of disgust.

Moving away from these two prominent actors, fans will enjoy the impact Roxanne, played by the incomparable Tina Fey had. Tina Fey has mostly flown under the radar aside from her work on “Saturday Night Live,” but her stellar performance had breakout written all over it. Audiences will finally see the capabilities of this young actress. Her work has definitely improved over the years – “Megamind” sees her grow up. Roxanne plays a news anchor that chronicles the life of Metroman, but does a 180 when she becomes the primary affection of three different guys throughout the film. Bringing the romantic conflict into Hollywood films has practically become a requirement for recent studio releases and this is no exception.

Jonah Hill, who plays a camera operator named Hal partnered up with his object of desire, reporter Roxanne Ritchi. His growing affection and borderline obsession for the girl becomes so strong that affection turned to rage. Caught in a moral dilemma, we soon realize that Hal succumbs to his weaknesses. As a result, Hal transforms from unknown to unwanted as he quickly becomes the centerpiece in what could be called a Thanksgiving feast. Jonah Hill delivers in what has become a comfortable role for him as the shy, nerd who has to fight and claw his way up to get the girl he truly desires, (see “Superbad”).

David Cross as Minion is a somewhat underrated performer in the animated feature film. Assigned the role of guardian and confidant to Megamind, Minion immediately develops as a key piece to the puzzle. While Megamind is torn between his evil reign and his long lost happiness, Minion acts as both a speed bump and a catalyst for justice. His split persona is not so much evident in his personality, but more so in his choices. In a truly terrific performance, Cross impressed the audience with his boyish voice and handy right-hand man attitude.

In summary, “Megamind” will be an entertaining film for kids – as all animated movies have become. In a decade’s time, animated films have become popular crossover films that represent a concentrated conceptual understanding of reality. Animated films have become an ‘acceptable’ genre of film for all audiences and that was due largely in part to financial successes such as “Finding Nemo” and “Ice Age.”

“Megamind” would be a great movie to take your kids to, but not for a college audience or anyone expecting some type of legitimacy from the film. While a time-killer for underage kids, this is not the film that would be particularly enjoyable for anyone older than the age of 12.

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