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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

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‘Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate:’ A disappointing mess

“Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate” takes everything great about the original film, puts it through a blender and then force-feeds it down your throat. It attempts to cash in on the IP of the first film but falls flat on its face.

The first film follows the titular Megamind, played by the excellent Will Ferrell, on his road to redemption after finally defeating his archnemesis, Metro Man. When a new villain, Titian, who thinks he's a hero, comes to town, Megamind must defeat him. 

One of the things that made the original film so unique is its villain, Titian, played by comedian Jonah Hill. Megamind gives him powers so he has someone to fight. Still, Titian is only interested in getting a girl and doesn't seem to realize constantly flirting with his co-worker, and our Lois Lane stand-in Roxanne Ritchi, played by Mean Girls creator Tina Fey, might not be the best way to win her heart. This was one of the first anti-nice guy narratives, and it never spoke down to its audience about the nature of relationships and how they work.

The first “Megamind” film is a masterpiece of cinema. It's a perfect movie with a charming story and a star-studded voice cast. It was unappreciated in its time because it was released only a few short months before “Despicable Me,” another movie about a villain becoming a hero. It's gained somewhat of a cult following over the last fourteen years — so much so that a common reaction meme to people wanting something to happen in a story is “I'm so sick of people being like, ‘I wish there were a story where [insert something that already happened in Megamind].’”

Peacock recently released a sequel, “Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate,” which asks the critical question: How can we strip the complexity out of the story?

While the film's plot — Megamind's former league of villains coming back to town and not realizing that he's not a hero anymore — could be interesting, this plot is wasted on this film.

Featuring none of the original voice cast and none of the charm, “Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate” is first and foremost a backdoor pilot for the television series “Megamind Rules!” which is also streaming on Peacock. The target audience of this film and this television series skews far younger than the original, creating an obvious disconnect between both films. The sequel also talks down to its audience, often repeating lines several times as if the audience is too dumb to understand anything. 

Though most of the cast does a serviceable job of sounding like the original voice actors, Lauren Post deserves considerable praise for her impression of Tina Fey, the new Megamind actor falls flat compared to Will Ferrell’s lyrical performance, which is the main pull of the original film. 

In short, “Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate” is not a film that anyone should ever be forced to sit through. To people looking for a Megamind sequel, I would suggest reading some fanfiction — at least that's written by people who actually care about the film. For people looking for a movie to sit their kids in front of for 90 minutes, just show them the original. At least that way they'll know that there is no tooth fairy, there is no easter bunny and there is no queen of England.