In keeping with our theme of likable villains (see our review of Despicable Me and Heinz Doofenshmirtz), the kids and I went to see Megamind yesterday. In a word, six thumbs up.
Did the likable animated villain trend get started with Shrek, I wonder? Ia anyone doing a survey of this?
Anyway, I’m surprised Megamind is only getting a 60% on Rotten Tomatoes. Who are these jaded reviewers? We found Megamind to be very funny, interesting, often pretty to look at, and containing some great character reversals and theme deconstructions. What makes a villain? Are they made are born? What makes a hero? Is it the nifty powers? What we choose vs. what is given to us, compare and contrast. Etc. I see many of the reviews that panned it are saying there is nothing new here, that it is all a retread, but that seems wrong-headed, somehow, to me. It was all new to my kids, and somewhat new to me, even though I’ve seen a million superhero movies. What does ‘new’ mean, then? New to the reviewer, I guess? But if you have a good story, well-told, why does it need to be new to everyone to be valuable? I don’t have a firm thought here, just a trend in my brain that says ‘new’ isn’t the most important characteristic, but rather, the quality of the telling that matters most.
Okay, let’s see. Number of times the plot surprised me: 2. Number of times a visual surprised me: 4 or 5. Number of times I laughed out loud: dozens. Number of times I thought eh, I’m a little bored now: 1. Number of times I thought “Cool!”: 3. Number of times I wanted to instantly rewind and rewatch, but couldn’t: 2. Overall score: I’d watch again (and probably will on dvd, many times, if the kids have any say).
That’s not bad, people. Movies can rarely surprise me and laugh-out-louds are pure gold, in my book. I came out of the theater thinking, that was a great time.
It’s not life-shattering. It isn’t meaty enough to have me thinking about it for days and day, the way Hereafter did, but if you like superhero stories, and you like to laugh, the kids and I can wholeheartedly recommend this one.