However bad you think, you probably won’t think bad like MegaMind thinks bad. Because, after all, if you’re going to be bad, and your rival is good, than you may as well go all out.
And that’s what this blue headed being from another planet does. I mean, come on, it’s bad enough having his home world destroyed when he’s eight days old; worse still when another being, from alarmingly similar circumstances, has it all the best in life (mansion, tons of super powers, and all the friends that come with that) and he has it all bad (growing up in a prison, always hated in school, no friends except his fish named Minion, so on and so forth). And he is always treated as a badguy, so he decides that he’ll be the baddest bad guy ever.
It goes great for a while: by the time the two are grown, our blue-headed alien has had his tail kicked an untold number of times, and wears 83 life sentences. But he doesn’t give up, until he finally gets what he wants: after (again) kidnapping the stereo-typical reporter girl (again), he manages to destroy his power-pumped rival. And their hometown of Metro City is all his.
But what’s life as a Super Villain without a hero to combat? Existence becomes rather meaningless….unless one could create a new hero…..
Sure. That won’t backfire.
Without attempting any more spoilers (the above happens within the first twenty minutes of the film in question) I try to dive quickly into a brief survey of the film MegaMind, which my sister and I recently went to see for her twelfth birthday.
It’s pretty easy to wonder if DreamWorks animation is dreaming a little too big. In this film, they’ve managed to cut out almost all of their standard potty humor, and finally pack a storyline that tries to delve deep, have some real emotion, and yes, be dark enough to pass as a superhero flick. The flipside, however, is trying to keep that on a level that both kids and adults can enjoy. The storyline, which is cushioned in romantic tension, (mostly surrounding the stereo-typical reporter Roxanne), seems almost aimed more at adults and teenagers than 4 to 12 year-olds.
On other hand, it’s a crisp, fun visual experience. The story moves fast enough and has quite enough humour to keep anyone. And yes, it does pack some fun action, which looks great coming out of the screen in Real D 3D.
The philosophical and even spiritual questions that are tackled in MegaMind reflect a notable trend: films like Despicable Me and things from acclaimed director Chris Nolan show a hero who isn’t held forth as being basically good; but rather how can a faulty and flawed person redeem himself? (himself being the key word).
The answer held forth is twofold: one is through relationships. In this film, it’s mainly through MegaMind’s actually finding someone else to please, to serve, to help. But even though it is true that the answer for our “emptiness” and “melancholy” (as MegaMind puts it) can be cured through a relationship with Christ, we can easily be tricked into thinking that other people, especially those of the opposite sex, will fill our needs.
The second answer, is this: We must choose to do what is right, and our actions are not justified either by our circumstances, or how others treat us, or how life treats us. This is a great message considering Hollwood is the source, and quite true: But we must be careful to not look for answers simply within ourselves. MegaMind is correct to hold forth that there is a standard of responsibility that is not found in how people treat us, but it is still off in that we are still looking to the solution to our-humanity’s- problem from within ourselves. As MegaMind himself expressed it: “Destiny is not the path that is given to us, but the path that we choose for ourselves.”
So…….is DreamWorks animation Arminian?
My assessment: MegaMind is mega-fun, presented in riveting 3D, but typical animated film-goers may be a little taken aback by the good/bad/ in between main character meets Mary Jane relationship presented, and all the emotional hubbub that’s goes along with that; and be left think that this high-flying, good vs. evil, Superman spinoff comedy takes itself waaaaay too seriously.