Welcome back to Movie Review Monday, reviews posted exclusively on Tuesdays. I’m just going to dive into it today with a film I know many of you are familiar with.
In the beginning there were two boys, society told them who they were before they could decide for themselves. Throughout their lives people said “You are this”, and “You are that”, and the longer we hear it the more we will believe it. The movie portrayed Megamind as a bad guy turned good. It tried to say that he was never really a bad person, but was made bad by the world. If he wasn’t truly bad, but was still evil, was he actually good?
How can bad be good? The intended story is one of redemption: evil becoming good because someone believed in him. Everyone’s hero turns out to be a jerk, therefore the filmmakers discretely feed the message that kids shouldn’t trust in their heroes to always be there for them. Simultaneously, Megamind proves to kids that anyone can become a hero as long as they do what a hero does: save the day.
Megamind, after destroying Metro Man becomes lethargic and believes his purpose to now be void. Quote, “What good is a villain without a hero to fight?”.
Problem: evil doesn’t get bored without good, it completely takes over. Evil deeds off of evil, it never pushes two evils apart but drives them closer together.
Megamind was true evil, Minion was his evil conscience; without a strong force of good making a drastic change in one, their friendship would never be dissolved. We see something similar to a strong force of good in Roxanne Ritchie who changes Megamind to believe in good, and drives a wedge between him and Minion.
The movie assumes that deep inside, everyone wants to be a hero, a force for good. This is false. Deep inside, everyone wants to be a villain. Even those who want to be heroes wish it for their pride and vanity, this makes them no more a hero than a villain.
“Something for the greater good of bad…”
As if something that is beneficial to the cause of evil could be called good. Being good for bad’s sake, or bad for good’s is hypocritical. My favorite line in the movie was a hypocritical line that, by its irony, summed up the message of the film.
You don’t judge a book by its cover or a person by their look, you judge them by their actions. Which, given the fact that Megamind, to whom this was spoken, was not bad for his actions but for his motives, was irony to the point of idiocy. Judging a person by their actions is something we all do, and it’s as wrong as judging by their looks. The only judgement humans can justifiably make against another person is that they are a sinner, which is really an observation based upon their actions.
What do we learn from the corruption of Titan? Power in the hands of an ungrounded individual is evil in the making. If you don’t know what to do with the little power you have, great power will only corrupt you. Also, a danger and a caution that the movie didn’t mention is that good can get tired and weary of always being on the firing line. Always being the hero, constantly having to save the world is wearing. But a hero isn’t a hero without the support of the people he saves. A hero can’t survive without supporters, he can’t take the stress of having to always be there for people if the people really don’t care. At least, not a human hero…
And as in all things, the people don’t realize how good they had it until they don’t have it anymore. From both sides of the spectrum, these two men were forced to be what society told them to be, and neither became what they were truly meant to be until the end. The hero let us down, and the villain even more so… Why? Because the villain never stopped being evil, and the hero only proved how truly bad he had been all along.
You’re never given a reason to like Megamind. Even though he supposedly changes his ways, he is never doing anything for the right reason. He betrays his friend because he wants to be normal, he dehydrates Bernard, and he saves the city because of a girl. He’s never truly good, though he ends up being the hero of the city.
Metro Man is crucified towards the end for abandoning his city, but he is the one who should be celebrated. He knew he was wrong, living a lie, he was a hero for the glory, it was a charade, a game. He saved people for the praise. As long as the crowds cheered loud enough he felt special. Right things done for the wrong reasons…
If you want a hero, a true hero, look up 2 Corinthians 5:21.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist