It must be really hard to make a good movie. You have to come up with interesting characters. You need a plot–that is, a beginning that leads to the middle, that works toward the end. The beginning should capture your interest with fascinating characters placed in complex situations that will require courage and growth of character to overcome. The middle should be full of twists and turns so that you are wondering how it will end. The end should be emotionally satisfying.
Pixar knows how to do this. Dreamworks, not so much. In fact, with the exception of the gorgeous How To Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks and I don’t get along at all. Case in point: Megamind.
This movie is about nothing. OK, there’s a bad guy (Megamind) and a good guy (Metro Man). Bad Guy beats Good Guy and has all of Metro City (which he pronounces so that it rhymes with ‘atrocity’) to himself. After a little while he gets bored because there’s no Good Guy to battle. Bad Guy then attempts to make a Good Guy so there’s someone to fight with. It goes wrong. There’s a girl (Ms. Fey) they’re all in love with. Bad Guy realizes that bad guys never get the girl (This is not true in real life, of course. In real life, Scott Peterson has women writing to him in San Quentin.) and this makes him sad. In the end the Bad Guy decides that the Badder Guy is too bad so he has to be beat. Now Bad Guy is Good Guy.
That is literally the entire story. There are no villains, no imminent destruction of Metro City, no babies trapped in burning buildings, no nothin’. Furthermore, the characters are not endearing. Metro Man is a Fopped Up Mr. Incredible with a Liberace cape. Megamind is petty, scrawny, and blue. He’s a liar and an opportunist. Hal is simply horrible. Ms. Fey’s character (Rochelle? Roxanne? I can’t remember.) lacks that little something–that Need to be Saved–that all damsels in distress need. We never worry about her. There’s no emotional tension. Boring.
There were two particular moments that jarred me as a Christian: in one scene during the time Megamind is Overlording Metro City, he takes everything he wants–piles of money, art treasures, and even, apparently, the Ark of the Covenant. Huh? In an earlier scene, Metro Man walks on water. Why? Why trifle with the Holy? The Lord’s name is taken in vain twice.
I also did not care for the scene in which the tallest tower in Metro City is destroyed by the bad guy. Did someone even think about this? Let me think…No. (Here’s the meeting: a bunch of people working on the film sit around in a room and one says, “Hey, let’s make a city that resembles New York in that it has super-giant buildings and is on the water, and then–hey, howdy!–let’s knock down the tallest building!” and everyone else says, “ooh, neato.”)
On the plus side, there is no potty humor and there are no sexual innuendos. Too bad my kids still won’t get to see this one, not even when it comes to the $3 theater. Not even on Netflix. On more of a plus side, Despicable Me just went up in my estimation. At least it had cute kids.
Speaking of Despicable Me, it had a lot of minions. Megamind has a minion–it’s a fish, but it’s called “minion.” Gru had a shrink ray. Megamind has a dehydrater, which if you think about it, is the same thing. Gru wanted to be the greatest villain. Megamind wants to be a great villain. Gru had cookie bots. Megamind has brain-bots. At least Megamind doesn’t photocopy his little blue butt.
So, back to the idea that it must be really hard to make a movie. Of course, these studios have to Keep Making Movies. They can’t say, “Nope, nothing good in the in-box this year, let’s take a year to cultivate some stories.” Still, this movie had some giant names involved. I think they should have hired less-costly Voices and spent the money on a Story Writer.