Who's In It: The voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, Brad Pitt
The Basics: MegaMind and Metro Man arrived on Earth as babies at the same time. Metro Man is adopted by a nice family and MegaMind's spacepod lands in a maximum security penitentiary. Naturally this influences their perceptions of right and wrong. As grown-ups they battle regularly and Metro Man always wins, keeping Metro City safe from MegaMind's plans for domination. But when Metro Man decides to fake his own death and go into seclusion, it becomes MegaMind's duty to fight an even less conscientious villain for control of Metro City. And that villain is... Jonah Hill. But supersized. Yes, it's weird.
What's The Deal: I've said it before but it counts here too: empty laughs are still laughs. And this is a harmless animated movie that's full of empty laughs. The main problem with all those empty laughs is that they arrive wrapped in a package you've seen before, probably even if you're still a kid. The Adult Swim block of Cartoon Network isn't the only source for cliché Supermannish balloons being popped by smartypants screenwriters; that tone has saturated most children's animated TV programming, too. It's no longer the alternative to the norm, it is the norm. But again, still funny. Just don't expect to remember it lovingly--or for very long--when it's over.
Not As Good As: Despicable Me, this year's other animated feature about a bad man who changes his tune. What makes that other movie stronger is its firm commitment to being something more than just a safe pop satire about superheroes. Its villain is more inherently unpleasant and its comedy is based in a darker, less adorable world view, one where the "despicable" protagonist learns to access his heart without sacrificing his disdain for all things soft and cute. By contrast, MegaMind rolls over like a puppy the minute he thinks he might make Tina Fey's news anchor his girlfriend. You just don't buy him as "Bad to the Bone" (one of the many annoying music cues).
Weirdest Character Design: Hill's local news cameraman-turned-enormous-evildoer. And what's strange is how they decided to make his character look just like Jonah Hill. No one else in the movie gets to be a cartoon version of themselves, not even Tina Fey. It feels like an arbitrary in-joke move and only succeeds in taking you out of the movie's already borrowed universe.
Featuring This Year's "We Don't Really Have An Ending" Trend In Endings: The usual all's-well-that-end's-well finale is marked by MegaMind spontaneously breaking into a little disco dance in lieu of an actual narrative wrap-up. And that's it. Everyone just starts dancing. It brings back bad memories of Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter dementedly and confusingly busting a move at the end of Alice in Wonderland.