Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Incredibly Handsome, Master of All Villainy" (Megamind Analysis - Megmaind)

"Then it hit me: if I was the bad boy, then I was going to be the baddest boy of them all!"

Megamind is an alien sent to this planet when the destruction of his own planet was immanent.  But unlike Metro Man, he doesn't look like any of the creatures of Earth.  Furthermore, his ship lands in a prison.  His big, blue head comes with brilliant genius, but unfortunately, his genius is not properly understood or applauded.  Time after time, Megamind tries to fit in, to be one of the class, but every attempt fails.  Discouraged, he starts to think this is all that fate has destined for him.

Megamind decides it was his destiny to be the bad boy and promptly sets off a blue explosion in the school house, which sends him back to jail.  In the voice over, Megamind boasts of a long and glorious career, but in the window in the back of the school bus, we catch of glimpse of Megamind looking longingly back at the school.

"What's the point of being bad when there's no good to try and stop you?"

Is Megamind really bad?

First we should ask: Who is Megamind?

Megamind is an alien - we've already covered that.  He's a skinny, inventing genius with a passion for guns and looking cool.  Since Megamind is the main character of the film, we can see his thoughts and desires, as well as his motives.  In essence, Megamind is a kid, having fun and looking for attention.  He's all about show and, in truth, he's a bit cliche.  He doesn't genuinely wish others ill; he's in it more because it's his fate to be the villain and he's going to have fun with it.

Megamind lacks those qualities which characterize a truly black-hearted villain.  First off, he's not cruel to his "minion".  They're best friends and practically equals.  He's "daddy" to his brain-bots.  He doesn't want to take over the city for personal gain, to inflict pain, or for any other selfish reason other than winning a battle.  Megamind doesn't want the money, the paintings, or the girl - he wants the fun.

"Maybe I don't want to be the bad guy anymore."

Ultimately, Megamind is lost in his own world.  Attention from Roxanne makes his desires for being bad quickly diminish, and the sudden loss of those attentions brings them back again.  He puts it aptly himself: "Some days it felt like just me and Minion against the world."  He's different and alone, and he's fighting against the world for acceptance.  He doesn't get the acceptance, but he can at least fulfill his role as villain.

I'm inclined to feel bad for him, and at the same time, be extremely proud of him:
"You left us in the hands of HIM!"
Let me paint the scene for you:
Megamind is alone.  Minion walked out.  Roxanne dumped him.  Titan is taking over the city.  Every single plan Megamind has ever devised has ended in failure - not because he wasn't clever enough, but because he was the bad guy.  ("Justice is a non-corrosive metal.")  He just found out that the one plan that actually worked - a.k.a. full power of the sun concentrated on Metro Man - actually didn't work.  And this same Metro Man abandoned the city to be taken over by Megamind.  Everyone, including Megamind, knows that it was a horrible idea to leave Megamind in charge of the city.
Roxanne to Metro Man: "You left us in the hands of... HIM!" (to Megamind:)  "No offense."
Megamind: "No, I'm with you."

Megamind gives up.  He's he bad guy.  He doesn't win.  Ever.

But Roxanne steps back into the picture.

And at last, Megamind shows his true potential.  He sets things right, wins the girl's heart, and becomes the hero.  Megamind wins the admiration of the city, the love of his dream girl, and the place in life he's always wanted and needed.  Considering his background and adolescent life in prison, Megamind is a true hero.


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