Saturday, 06 November 2010

Megamind Asks: What if the Bad Guy Actually Won?

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MegamindMegamind is a fun tale of a struggle between good and evil, unique in that the most important clash is between Megamind and Megamind. When confronted by Metroman (the good guy), Megamind relished his role as the villain. Once Megamind found himself in a greatly different position, however, he had to decide if the path he was to choose would be the road less traveled.

Megamind (Will Farrell) is an alien life form, sent to Earth by his parents when they realized that their planet was about to be dissolved into a black hole. In a parallel universe, Metroman’s parents were forced to do the same, sparking a nearly immediate foil relationship between the two men.

Once Megamind learned he could never live up to the virtuous and “perfect” standards set by Metroman (Brad Pitt), Megamind decided he would take the role of the “bad guy” to a whole different level.

For years, Megamind enjoyed the role of the antagonist, always taking for granted the seemingly permanent presence of his counterpart. Neither one truly wanted to hurt the other, nor did either one believe that anyone other than Metroman would come forward victorious. Megamind just enjoyed the challenge but never banked on a victory.

Until one day.

Suddenly without a contender, Megamind learned that life was dull. Having everything at his disposal, and being able to carry out all of his evil plans without challenge, left him with a void that could only be filled by the presence of a new hero.

And so Megamind gets to work creating the truly heroic, brave, “good guy”: Titan.

Or so he thought.

Titan, through his own free will, elects to use his powers for evil, rendering Metro City in need of a hero of a different variety.

This could be Megamind’s last chance to do the right thing. But will he do it? You’ll have to fork up the $10 to find out for sure.

What I will tell you is that Megamind has all of the right attributes for a good family weekend. With humor for all audiences, Megamind will evoke laughter from the youngest to the oldest moviegoers.

Adults will appreciate the posters in Metro City after it has been conquered by Megamind. To display his success, Megamind hangs up posters around the city that are replicas of President Obama’s “Yes We Can” progressive placards, except those in the movie feature a similar picture of Megamind with the slogan that reads “No We Can’t.”

Children and adults will appreciate Megamind’s desperate and often failed attempts to evoke fear from the residents of Metro City. For example, while trying to create a truly horrific atmosphere by blaring ACDC’s Highway to Hell through the streets of Metro City, the radio goes awry and fluctuates between ACDC’s classic and Minnie Riperton’s Loving you.

In addition to the humorous and entertaining elements of the film, Megamind teaches a variety of valuable lessons.

First, it shows the terrible backlash that merciless bullying can have on an individual, as Megamind was harshly received by his fellow classmates throughout most of his young life.

Likewise, it touches upon the discussion of nature vs. nurture, since both Megamind and Metroman had similar backgrounds, but grew up in very different homes. While Metroman was fortunate enough to be discovered by a wealthy and loving family, Megamind was raised by criminals in a prison.

Another evident theme, however trite, is to never judge a book by its cover. Megamind is a personification of this very theme.

Perhaps most importantly, Megamind addresses the importance of choice, and the need to recognize choices that may not be immediately obvious. Both Metroman and Megamind feel like they are without choices — that they are destined to play the roles they have filled throughout their lives — but soon learn that there are more paths on which they may tread.

Despite the numerous positives Megamind has to offer, there are a few unfortunate elements. Christians may find themselves a bit uncomfortable with the idolatry of the superheroes in the town of Metro City. Wanting to reward the heroes for their valiant deeds, they erect statutes and museums in their honor, for example.

At the opening ceremony for Metroman’s museum, Metroman gives a speech thanking his fans. While speaking to his public, he begins walking on the water of a fountain outside of his museum, another troublesome moment as it bears clear implications related to Jesus Christ. Later, when there is no Metroman to halt Megamind in his tracks, “evil is running rampant” and unchecked according to Roxanne Richie (Tina Fey), the token damsel in distress.

With the exception of these few items, Megamind is an overall good film. Humorous, inspirational, and captivating, it will regale audiences of all varieties.

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