Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate

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Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate
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As Metroman would say in recent memes: "That's when I got the brilliant idea... to pretend this was not canon".
Genre: Animation
Comedy
Action
Directed By: Eric Fogel
Starring: Keith Ferguson
Laura Post
Josh Brener
Maya Aoki Tuttle
Emily Tunon
Talon Warburton
Scott Adsit
Chris Sullivan
Tony Hale
Jeanine Mason
Adam Lambert
Distributed By: Peacock
Release Date: March 1, 2024
Runtime: 83 minutes
Country: United States (writing/voice acting)
India (animation)
Language: English
Franchise: Megamind
Prequel: Megamind (2010 film)
Sequel: Megamind Rules!

Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate is a CGI Superhero animated movie produced by DreamWorks Animation and released on Peacock on March 1, 2024. It serves as the sequel to the 2010 film Megamind, is a Pilot Film for the Megamind Rules! TV series and is the second installment in the Megamind series. It's a continuation of the first Megamind movie released in 2010. It's directed by Eric Fogel and stars Keith Ferguson, Laura Post, and Josh Brener.

The first trailer went out on February 1, receiving immense backlash due to recasting the celebrity voice cast from the first movie, subpar animation, and incongruent plot issues. A follow-up series, Megamind Rules!, was also released the same day along with the movie.

Summary

Megamind, now assuming the role of Metro City's defender, assembles a new team to stop his former evil teammates' villainous plans from launching Metro City to the moon.

Why It Doesn't Have a Mind of Its Own

  1. Firstly, there is no reason for DreamWorks to make a sequel to Megamind, as the first movie had a perfect finale that didn't have any sequel bait, despite fans who wanted a Megamind sequel (many fans consider Megamind: The Button of Doom included with the DVD/Blu-ray release, along with the video game adaptation Megamind: Ultimate Showdown as the true sequels to the first film). The first movie's ending had the main character who, after a prejudiced upbringing that led him and his friend Minion to become supervillains, defeated the maniacal villain Hal Stewart/Tighten, gaining him Metro City's respect and the respect of news anchor Roxanne Ritchi, even becoming the city's new praised hero, which ended his main arc on a really good note as his problems ceased. However, with this movie they didn't manage to create any worthwhile character arcs (it could have been a movie about Metroman, how he became so famous and his perspective towards Megamind in a more in-depth way; or a movie about Roxanne herself; or better, a movie that works as a prequel showing more about Megamind and Metroman's civilizations). Instead, we got a generic superhero plot that looks like a prolonged episode of a TV show (which it technically is). In short: The sequel broke absolutely everything that had been established and what made it special from the first film.
    • Due to having such a simple plot, this movie ends up feeling like Dreamworks' failed attempt to revive Megamind's relevance via nostalgia, considering the huge influence the movie had on memes and trends (such as the "No Bitches?" meme from the first movie). However, due to all the issues said below, it's not exactly respected by fans.
      • Combine that with the fact the first film came out in cinemas in 2010, a whole generation ago. Ultimately though, Dreamworks doesn't care to welcome old fans or new fans who want to get into it, as barring flashbacks from the first film, doesn't explain how things work, the past of Megamind, Roxanne, and Minion. Metroman isn't even referenced.
    • The animated short Megamind: The Button of Doom, worked more as a genuine followup than this film, because the plot was more related to the first movie and feasible both on paper and on screen. It was well-received by fans and critics and many consider it underrated, making this movie even more pointless.
  2. The film lacks any action or drama that made the first film so memorable, and has a more kiddy tone that the modern Dreamworks films are known for, which is ironic since some of their recent movies like Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys prove that Dreamworks can make compelling stories that don't pander to kids and can be enjoyed by even adults, something that this film lacks as a sequel to the studio's most mature and emotional films that was about the titular character going through a mid-life crisis and realizing that he wasn't meant to be the bad guy and can move on from the days he was raised by criminals and bullied at school, and became the hero of Metropolis at the end of the first film. This film however focuses more on comedy and less on drama and is rather ill-suited for a Megamind film and makes this movie come off as a movie version of Teen Titans Go! (a critically panned spin-off of a beloved 2003 cartoon based on DC's Teen Titans that was more focused on comedy and less on action, and ironically, also had a movie).
  3. The plot is extremely banal to star levels, as generic as an earthenware plate with a tiny lettuce leaf in it, and, as said before, feels more like an extended episode for the TV show Megamind Rules!.
    • If that wasn't bad enough, the plot is rehashed from the video game Megamind: Ultimate Showdown. The Doom Syndicate seeks to destroy Metro City and Megamind must stop them. Only here, Megamind has created the Doom Syndicate rather than Tighten in the videogame.
    • In a certain sense, it rips off elements from The Incredibles 2, like the idea of different heroes teaming up to defeat the villains.
  4. It ignores the events of the previous film and two important characters from said film, Metro Man and Tighten, which are completely absent in the film, making this film feel less like a Megamind sequel and more like a budget TV special that was made to cash-in onto nostalgia, and only exists to make Megamind into a franchise even though the original film ended on a good note. Metro Man, who's one of Megamind's greatest sources of motivation and the reason why he is willing to be a superhero in the previous film, is never mentioned in this film at all, thus adding proof that this film disrespects the source material of the original film.
  5. Atrocious animation that is a massive (and impressive) downgrade from the original film, looking like either a video game released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, or Nintendo GameCube made in the early 2000s, a video game made for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii made in the early 2010s, or computer animated shows that have much better looking animation like ReBoot, The Little Prince, Arpo the Robot, Thunderbirds Are Go, Bolts & Blip, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and even Vídeo Brinquedo Rip-off films such as Little & Big Monsters, which is laughable and unappealing for a 2024 production. It's so ugly you wouldn't see it for all its duration. Even the video game adaptation: Megamind: Ultimate Showdown had far better-looking graphics than this.
    • The characters usually come on screen with egregious stiff and chewy movements, making the viewers try to keep themselves from puking due to how disgusting they come off. Plus, many characters often appear with unnerving smiling faces, like this infamous shot of Roxanne, as well as have some very off-design characters such as Behemoth who looks like a poor man's version of The Thing from The Fantastic 4 series but made with lava.
    • Some character models are recycled from other Dreamworks' media, in which many of them are taken from the Boss Baby show.[1][2]
    • Megamind: The Button Of Doom, which serves as a direct sequel to the film Megamind and is a Direct-To-TV Movie, has theatrical quality CGI, further making this movie look worse in comparison.
    • This was due to Dreamworks outsourcing the animation to an Indian company called 88 Animation, which explains the cheapness of the animation.
  6. A lot of animation errors are present in the film, some of them are present in the official trailer of the film. One notable error includes a background character dancing in only keyframes. Another example is that when the Fish Gang gets freed from their prison Megamind’s drone activates, Megamind just goes into a weird idle animation while the Fish Gang gets away.
  7. Due to the awful animation and the excessive animation errors, there's a possibility that much like The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, this movie was likely rushed in an attempt to release this and Megamind Rules! simultaneously on the same day.
  8. Terrible direction from Eric Fogel, who also worked on the original seasons of the cult-classic MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch.
  9. The movie also recycles footage from the original movie, which looks much better than this film.
    • Megamind also disrespects Minion even though he already went through the same appreciation to Minion in the previous movie. It's almost as if the writers hit rewind on Megamind's character growth.
  10. For some reason, Minion was renamed to OI' Chum. In the film, it's explained that Megamind got a cease-and-desist order from a fast food chain called Mr. Minion's Meatsicles so that Minion can be no longer called "Minion", but we never see its existence in the previous film. This was possibly done by Dreamworks to avoid confusion with Illumination's Minions.
  11. Horrible cover for the boxart that looks like a YouTube thumbnail or a video game cover that used Photoshop.
  12. Awful voice acting due to none of the actors such as Will Ferrell, David Cross, and Tina Fey reprising their roles from the movie. Although this can be forgiven considering that the aforementioned actors mostly work for comedy or other media (including being the voice, and voicing, Maxime Le Mal in Despicable Me 4, the same cannot be said considering that the actors in the sequel are people already experienced in acting and who had already had better roles and best performances. Keith Ferguson at times tries to emulate Ferrell's performance, however, he only makes it sound more like Male Ranma Saotome and forced. In all fairness though, Keith Ferguson has voiced Megamind in the video games.
  13. Very bad and poor lip-syncing, with the characters' mouths for the most part not moving in the right way.
  14. Anachronism: The film is meant to take place in the early 2010s. Yet, the characters use modern 2020-style mobile phones that weren't even around during the period since many mobile phones were still in their prototype stages at the time. The iPhone was still only 3 years old at the time, and since Megamind came out nearly 14 years ago when mobile phones were new at the time, it concludes the film seems odd and random, as it was only added in as a desperate attempt at modernization. The first Megamind film had flip phones.
  15. Poor humor that is for the most part unfunny and sometimes downright cringe. Such as Keiko gets half a million followers on social media while Roxanne only gets about a tenth of that much, which is just a bad attempt at trying to be hip and modern for 2020s kids.
  16. The characterization in this movie is pretty terrible as the old characters are a shell of their former selves to the point of being flanderized and the new characters are no better.
    • Megamind was heavily flanderized in this sequel, as he acts very immature and has regressed in terms of his personality, whereas in the previous film, he was able to grow from his villainy and become the one who saved Metro City from Tighten, thus saving his reputation as being an outcast from society. This film on the other hand makes him so unlikeable that he doesn't know how to be a superhero at all, making his Flanderization even more damaging here since he grew as a person in the previous film and at the end of the film was accepted by the citizens of Metro City and became the hero of the city they've been needing since Metro Man faked his death and grew tired of being a superhero.
    • Minion (Ol' Chum), while still likable, became a Butt-Monkey type character as Megamind always belittles and mistreats him even though in the first film, while he does treat him like a bit of a servant, he still considers him his friend, this however, was completely thrown out the window, like if the writers didn't even watch the original film at all.
    • Roxanne, while also still likable, became dumbed down into a bland mentor to Megamind as she has to help him with the simplest things and usually has to deal with his shenanigans. Plus, her romantic relationship with Megamind has also been forgotten about and instead, their relationship is now "complicated".
    • The Mayor has also been flanderized from a simple mayor who cares about his citizens to now a complete coward who only cares about saving himself.
    • Keiko Morita, the new character in the film, is pretty annoying and one-dimensional as her only personality trait is that she's the leader of the Megamind Fan Club and a social media influencer.
    • The Go Fish Gang, the minor antagonists of the film, are without a doubt the most pointless characters in the movie as they serve nothing to the story, you could cut theme out the movie entirely and the plot would remain unchanged.
    • The Doom Syndicate are generic doomsday villains, as they only exist for the sake of evil. They also look very out-of-place and don't fit the esthetic with Megamind, with Lord Nighty-Knight in particular looking more like rejected Raid: Shadow Legends, Dark Souls , and The Dragon Prince characters than someone out of Dreamworks.
      • They also look nothing like they did in the Megamind: Ultimate Showdown video game.
  17. Laughable animation posses sequences, such as the posses that the Doom Syndicate do when they all say "No!" after Megamind suggests doing Shrods, which looks like the poss that the characters from CoComelon (another bad Computer Animated Media) do on a few occasions.
  18. Another problem with this movie is that it only exists as the pilot of Megamind Rules, the new TV Series based on the original movie that is equally just as bad as this movie is, and shares many of the same problems as said TV Show to the point where this movie is just an extended episode of the TV Show that acts like a sequel to the first movie, which is ironic since many of the events from the previous film are ignored in this movie and the show itself, making this movie and the TV Show massive cashgrabs.
  19. There are a few plot holes that are never explained:
    • If The Doom Syndicate has superpowers such as controlling shadows, having the ability to hypnotize police officers, controlling the weather, and launching out lava, why are these supervillains in a normal prison where they could easily break out?
    • When The Doom Syndicate approaches Megamind, Lady Doppler says "Megamind, is that anyway to welcome your old crew?", with Megamind later on saying "They still think that I'm a villain!" to Keiko Moritai, from that line alone, it's implied that Megamind has met The Doom Syndicate at some point before this film, but the problem is, Megamind never mention anything about The Doom Syndicate in both the first film or even its follow-up animated short. However they did first appear in the Megamind: Ultimate Showdown video game, but their appearances are drastically different.
    • It's also implied at the end of the film that Megamind was taught villainy from a disembodied brain named Machiavillain, even though he was taught evil from some random criminals at a young age in the previous film. It's also implied that bullying from his peers at school also drove him down the path to being a villain. But here, it's never mentioned.
  20. Much like Surf's Up 2: WaveMania of the Surf's Up series, Space Jam: A New Legacy of the Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies franchise, and The Exorcist: Believer of the Exorcist franchise, it was too late to make another Megamind movie, as that film came out over 13 years ago, and it was because of this reason that people stopped waiting for a sequel, so this sequel should have been released earlier after the first movie!

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The character designs are decent and still look like those from the original film, despite the CGI being terrible.
  2. Some of the voice acting is decent.
  3. Despite what WIDHAMOIO#16 said, Minion (Ol' Chum) and Roxanne are at least still likable and tolerable characters, despite being more dumbed down.
    • Lord Nighty-Knight is considered the most likable of the Doom Syndicate for actually being an attempt at similar satire to the first film.
  4. While nowhere near as good as the previous films, there is a selection of a few funny moments.
    • "Are you kidding?! You put the city backwards!"
  5. Despite how awful the movie is, it is nice to see another Megamind related media after 14 years.
  6. To be fair, being a Dreamworks IP that hasn't been put to great use for years and also that the franchise had several elements from the first film that could be explored in more depth, the franchise had the potential for a good sequel, it just didn't know how to get the right potential out of it.

Reception

The movie gained a negative reception from the critics, audiences, and fans of the original. It is considered the worst movie of 2024 due to low-quality animation, awful voice acting, bland story, and use of generic characters for villains, and the worst DreamWorks Animation Television production since DreamWorks Dragons: The Nine Realms, and VeggieTales (Netflix)

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 10% based on 10 reviews with an average score of 3.5/10, making it the first ever project from DreamWorks Animation to earn such a score.

In a two out of four-star rating for RogerEbert.com, Nell Minow states the film "is intermittently funny and briefly heartwarming, as though they ran the original through the washing machine a few times, and then faxed it."

Amid criticism, Eric Fogel remains enthusiastic about his successful solutions to problems with the film, which included a smaller budget compared to the original, as well as changing the original voice cast, which involved the DreamWorks casting department.

References

Trivia

  • The film's main poster became an internet meme, with parodies of Megamind having to fight other characters in place of the Doom Syndicate.

Videos

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