Nov. 5 2010 12:00 AM

It's a blue world for the anti-hero of amusing 'Megamind'

(Friday, Nov. 5) The title character of “Megamind” has many reasons to be
blue. For one, he’s an under-appreciated evil genius. Plus, he is constantly
outclassed by Metro Man, the generic pseudo-Superman with sparkling teeth and
magnificent hair that never gets messed up even when he’s zooming across the
skies. In contrast, Megamind has a bulbous bald head, a smarmy smile and — well
— he’s blue.

“Megamind” comes from the DreamWorks Animation factory,
which has produced a few outstanding features (including the recent “How to
Train Your Dragon”) and a couple clunkers (anyone remember Will Smith’s
water-logged “Shark Tale”?).

“Megamind” falls somewhere in between, generating a
reasonable amount of jokes, providing some suitably slick visuals and making
optimal use of the voices of Will Ferrell (who seems to have a jolly time
barking out lines like, “I’m shaking in my custom baby-seal-leather boots!”)
and Tina Fey (putting her own sardonic twist on the Lois Lane
damsel-in-distress role of Roxanne Richi, a TV reporter who is abducted so
frequently by Megamind that she cracks, “Could someone stamp my Frequent
Kidnapping Card?”). Brad Pitt has considerably less fun as Metro Man, who is
initially set up as Megamind’s arch-rival, only to be sidelined by a
semi-surprising plot twist.

Amusing without ever approaching awesomeness and pleasant
without being particularly notable, “Megamind” never approaches the brilliance
of Pixar’s similarly themed “The Incredibles.” But it's designed to please the eye and it racks up some of its biggest
laughs when it concentrates on second-string characters, such as Jonah Hill’s
Hal, a dorky, love-starved cameraman, and David Cross’ Minion, a wide-eyed,
flamboyantly expressive sort of mutant rockfish that serves as Megamind’s
ever-faithful sidekick.

Some of the movie’s wittiest asides are almost certainly to
fly straight over the heads of the youngest viewers, such as a brief but
hilarious little homage to a classic 1980s video game and Ferrell’s
right-on-the-mark mimicry of Marlon Brando’s line-readings from the 1978
“Superman.” Minnie Riperton’s signature song, “Lovin’ You,” is used as a
running gag throughout the film, further proof that the filmmakers were almost
as twisted as Megamind himself.

Now playing at area theaters. Follow James on Twitter at twitter.com/jamessanford

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