Going second is a risk, and there's no escaping the fact that much of Tom McGrath's 3-D animated comedy about a mean, bumbling super-villain who discovers his inner good guy bears some resemblance to this summer's superior Despicable Me. But Megamind isn't a bad film: For light entertainment, it's everything you'd expect from a test-marketed, certified-funny piece of studio entertainment.
Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) can't compete with the square-jawed superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt), so he kills him. But life is boring without an adversary, so he recruits a loserish dude (Jonah Hill) to be a new villain that he can control. Thwarting his plans is the intrepid work of Roxanne Rirchi (Tina Fey), a reporter with the body of a pneumatic sex kitten. Trust me: It all works out.
The animation looks good (though probably only a couple of scenes warrant spending extra for the 3-D glasses); the pace is brisk; and there are plenty of smiles, if not laughs. But even discounting my foreknowledge of Despicable Me, as entertainment, Megamind felt more calculated than organic, relying on its big stars, jokey-jokes and classic-rock cues. Or, I dunno, maybe I'm just tired of comedies that feature Will Ferrell whining. Starts Fri., Nov. 5.