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Desperately seeking supervillain

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

(Friday, Nov. 5) The title character of “Megamind” has many reasons to beblue. For one, he’s an under-appreciated evil genius. Plus, he is constantlyoutclassed by Metro Man, the generic pseudo-Superman with sparkling teeth andmagnificent hair that never gets messed up even when he’s zooming across theskies. 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 toTrain Your Dragon”) and a couple clunkers (anyone remember Will Smith’swater-logged “Shark Tale”?).

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

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

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

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


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