Regular readers of this blog will know that our film reviews are sporadic at best.
Basically a film has to be either really good, or really really bad to move us to write a blog (or sometimes it’s just a slow month for news), and we have to feel that it’s a film that’s going to make a big impact on the animation community or life of a big studio (Tangled) or a film that hi-lights the potential and power of the medium (Mary and Max)
In this instance though, what drove me to my keyboard was guilt, pure and simple. Having slated Dreamworks so thoroughly in my last post on the subject, I felt that I had to at least acknowledge that they’d finally (for the first time since the original Shrek in my opinion) made a pretty reasonable film in Megamind.
My problem with Dreamworks has always been the mind-numbing predictability, lack of genuine emotion, dull characterizations and weak scripts. Not to mention the stupefying formula that they seem to think guarantees a surefire success of ‘find an animal that’s famous for doing something and create a character that doesn’t/can’t do that thing!
You may think I’m being overly harsh, but lets review the evidence:
Antz – An ant who didn’t want to work and thought for himself
Bee Movie – A bee that doesn’t want to make honey
Flushed Away – A rat who is posh
A Sharks Tale – A shark that’s a vegetarian
Madagascar – A lion who is a wimp
I could go on. All bland, mass produced and thoughtless films without an ounce of the wit and sparkle of the worst of Pixar’s rejected ideas.
But Megamind, I have to be honest, aint bad. A superhero and a supervillain compete in the ultimate battle of good versus evil, which evil for once actually wins. But without the challenge, the villain becomes bored and starts to miss the thrill of the battle, so he creates his own hero to do battle against. But when the new hero decides that villains have more fun, the old villain realises he has to fill the superhero void himself.
It’s pretty funny, it’s pacey and it doesn’t take itself seriously. What the film is lacking in drama, emotion and logic, it makes up for in self referential and knowing humor, sight gags and comic book cliches. Not bad I say, and for a Dreamworks film, that’s pretty good.
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