If you’re like me, you missed Megamind in theaters because the trailers didn’t really sell you on the movie. If you’re really like me, you will regret that decision after watching it at home. Megamind is another unfortunate example of a brilliant film being misrepresented and shown in its worst light via marketing (I think Mean Girls is another prime example). To be fair, I’m not sure the film knows whom it is targeting. Most of the jokes, such as the classic rock songs that Megamind favors for stylish entrances, seem like they would go over most kid’s heads. I would be curious to watch the movie with a child and see what they respond to and enjoy. As it is, I think the movie was made for me and my ilk. Especially because of what I consider the most interesting aspect of the film (spoilers): Hal Stewart’s character vs. Megamind’s and the representation, and critique, of white male privilege. Yes, I just went there.
From his introduction, Hal’s character is practically water logged with white male privilege and entitlement. There are too many examples, but the over arching one centers on his obsessive crush on Roxie that is possessive, toxic, and not founded on who she is as a person, only what he thinks she should be. He is constantly trying to buy her affection without making any attempt to know her or make himself more desirable. When he is accidentally gifted with powers he did nothing to earn, and certainly doesn’t deserve, he steps up his stalking and then assumes he is owed Roxie due to his physical prowess and the fact that he is now “awesome”. When he sees Roxie on a date with another man, who he considers inferior, and she subsequently tells him clearly that she is not interested in dating him, as is her right, he throws a self-pitying tantrum and starts destroying the city. All of this is a behavior pattern that is becoming far too common place in the real world: a mediocre, young white man who is incapable of handling rejection and lashes out at the single person, or group of people, he blames for making him feel inadequate. It is worth noting that the only person Hal fears is a bigger, stronger white male, but is ultimately defeated by a more intelligent, albeit physically weaker, immigrant. One who got the girl because he took the time to know her, looked at himself and was willing to grow, change, and admit when he was wrong. I hope the children who watch this movie take that lesson to heart, whether they realize it or not.
If you haven’t seen Megamind, you should watch it because it is hilarious. After that, or if you have seen it already, you should watch it again for the social commentary. It is a lesson that most certainly deserves repeating.