Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
|Featuring||voices of—Will Ferrell (Megamind), Brad Pitt (Metro Man), Tina Fey (Roxanne Ritchi), Jonah Hill (Tighten), Ben Stiller (Megamind’s Father), J.K. Simmons (Warden), Justin Theroux (Bernard), See all »|
|Producer||DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Red Hour Films, Ben Stiller, See all »|
|Distributor||Paramount Pictures / DreamWorks Animation|
“It’s big for a reason.”
Ever since “Shrek” arrived and turned the world of fairy tales upside down, the new trend in animated “family” films is to take a slightly politically correct approach to traditional family films. In this case, you take a superhero cartoon, and you make the superhero a spoiled brat and discover that he is not so heroic, and you take the evil arch-villain and discover that he is… well… not so evil after all. Such is the premise of “Megamind.”
Now “Megamind” is a well-made film that will appeal to parents, as well as children. Although it isn’t as good as its animated rival film, “Despicable Me,” it is bound to be a hit, and it is entertaining. The plot, as aforementioned, revolves around a superhero/arch-villain rivalry. Megamind, the evil genius, always seems to lose to the spoiled, and vain, superhero Metroman, but one day it appears that Megamind has actually won. Metroman is dead! Or so it seems.
Now, Megamind is left to plunder the city, but he soon finds his life is empty without a nemesis, so he attempts to create a new superhero rival, only to find that the new superhero is, in fact, more evil than Megamind. Will Megamind save the day? Will Megamind become a superhero or remain an arch-villain.
Certainly, there are good elements of the film. Megamind hardly repents of his sins, and we cannot honestly say that he finds redemption, but the ability to turn one’s life around is a good moral message for children.
Unfortunately, the film excels in the moral ambiguities of Hollywood. Never does Megamind really distinguish between right and wrong. He finds his life is empty and meaningless, but he doesn’t really know why, nor does the film honestly answer that question. This is my biggest problem with the movie. Properly done, the film could be a great moral lesson, but, as written, it is yet another politically correct tale that makes the hero something less than noble, and the villain becomes the sympathetic character.
Morally, there a few words like “cr*p” which make their sudden and unneeded appearance in the film. There is a kissing scene, but the real problem morally, aside from the moral ambiguity of the film, is the amount of violence for a children’s movie. Although there is no blood, there is an ample supply of comic violence including the destruction of numerous buildings which are done in all to realistic a manner (visually speaking). Given the sensibilities of a post-911 world, I couldn’t help but think of the Twin Towers (although no attempt was made to emulate that). Seeing buildings collapse and fall with very realistic animation graphics is certainly something which adds to the already somewhat heavy comic violence of the film, so be aware that this is not a “gentle” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” kind of film. Go to it expecting plenty of fighting, smashing of buildings, cars, and mayhem. In short, it may not be appropriate for really young children. Pre-teenagers, however, will love the action and comedy.
Overall, “Megamind” is an entertaining spin on superheroes and villains, which suffers from Hollywood’s moral ambiguities which might not be appropriate for young children, but the prospect of redemption is one which parents can emphasize to their children upon exiting the theater. It can be a fun film, if parents explain the difference in right and wrong and explain that true redemption comes only through the Lord Jesus.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.