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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Megamind

February 24th, 2011

Megamind - Buy from Amazon: DVD, DVD Double-Pack, or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

Part of a pair of Super Hero digitally animated films to come out in 2010. Not only that, but they both were from the point of view of the villain. The comparisons between Megamind and Despicable Me are inevitable. How well will Megamind do in this comparison? And can it stand on its own?

The Movie

The films starts with Megamind falling to his doom while telling us how it all began. He was born on a doomed planet and sent to Earth his Minion and a destiny. At the same time, another baby from a neighboring doomed planet was also sent to Earth, probably also with a destiny. As they grew up, his rival was always showered with praise, while Megamind never seemed to do the right thing. He tried to get the other kids to like him, but it never worked. One day he decided that since he was bad at being good, he would try to be good at being bad. A super villain was born. Meanwhile, his rival took on the name Metro Man and became the defender of Metro City.

The usual battle involves Megamind kidnapping Roxanne Ritchi, Metro Man rescuing her, and then sending Megamind to jail. However, in the latest battle something strange happens. Megamind wins. Megamind wins and Metro Man is killed. At first he celebrates his victory by blowing up Metro Man's statue, but quickly grows bored of life without a nemesis. He begins talking with Roxanne Ritchi, in a holographic disguise, of course, she unwittingly gives him the solution to his problem, create a new super hero to battle. His plan works perfectly, except instead of searching for the perfect person to become his nemesis, he accidentally hits Roxanne's cameraman, Hal.

To save his plan, Megamind and Minion disguise themselves as Hal's Space Dad and Space Step-mom and train him to become Titan. Since the movie begins with Megamind falling to his death, you know this plan won't work out as well as he hopes.

Megamind is a movie that is good, but never really reaches greatness. On the plus side, this is a very fun movie to watch. There are plenty of action scenes and lots of humor. One-liners are thrown around at a rapid pace, while the bathroom humor is thankfully missing. The voice-acting helps with David Cross standing out as Minion. As for the action, the climactic battle feels a lot larger than anything that happened in Despicable Me and even with one too many training montage sequences in the movie, there's little chance the target audience will be bored. And for adults watching with their kids, there are lots of little bonuses. For instance, Megamind does a Marlon Brando impersonation when pretending to be Hal's Space Dad, to further emphasize the Superman connection. Also, the soundtrack is definitely geared for adults. It's rare to hear AC/DC in a family film.

On the downside, there's a lack of heart in the movie. There's a romance angle here that works, and you do feel for the poor guy. But it's not as well done as the father-figure part in Despicable Me, for instance. Any adult in the room will know exactly how that storyline will play out, while I think most kids, especially young boys, will be disinterested. Also, Hal / Titan / Tighten is just plain annoying. His transformation from loser to hero to villain wasn't compelling, because I was never given a reason to care about the character. Finally, as is the bane of nearly all Dreamworks Animation movies, there are a few too many pop culture references. Some will make you laugh today (the "No You Can't" posters) but at the expense of making it feel dated much earlier.

It adds up to a movie that is really good, one that is absolutely worth watching, and for many it will have replay value. But I don't think it will be remembered are a top-tier film from 2010.

The Extras

Extras on the first disc include an audio commentary track with the director, two producers, and two writers. That's a lot of people and they touch on every aspect of the film. Next up is a nine-minute featurette on the cast. There's also a deleted scene with an introduction explaining why it was trimmed. That's it? That's not a whole lot.

The DVD Double-Pack also includes The Button of Doom short on a separate disc. In it, Megamind decides to sell off all of his old evil gadgets and builds a suit to mimic the powers of Metro Man. However, one of the items, the titular buton of doom, fails to sell and when it is activated, Megamind and Minion have to try to stop whatever it is. (They've made a lot of evil plans and can't be expected to keep track of all of them.) There are also featurettes on the design of Megamind, his wardrobe, lair, etc. Animatorman is a two-minute look at the animation process, specifically the reference footage. There's a 13-minute instructional video for those interesting in drawing the character. Mega Rap is a little more than an extended commercial. There's a game of spot the difference, a comic book, and some printables on DVD-Rom. That's a pretty healthy increase in extras, but it costs $9 more. That's a bit too much.

I don't have a copy of the Blu-ray to review, so I can't comment on picture / audio quality or any exclusive extras, but it does cost less than the DVD Double-Pack, so it is clearly the better deal.

The Verdict

While Megamind isn't Oscar-worthy, it is worth checking out. The DVD has too few extras, so it is only worth a rental. The DVD Double-Pack has plenty of extras, but costs too much more than the DVD. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack is an excellent value and easily worth picking up. Perhaps even a contender for Pick of the Week.

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Filed under: Video Review, Megamind