Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate Review

Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate Disappoints in Long-Awaited Sequel

It sounds like a perfectly good setup for some superhero shenanigans: After defeating a nemesis of his own creation, the reformed arch-villain at the center of 2010’s Megamind returns, finding himself in the crosshairs of his former allies while struggling with his new role as Metro City’s protector. But unfortunately, Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate never quite realizes its full potential. Instead, this long-awaited sequel is a pale imitation of its predecessor, bringing very little to the table.

The straight-to-streaming sequel is doomed from the start: Its disjointed script squanders plenty of opportunities for laughs and costumed capering. Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate doesn’t quite seem to know where the original film’s humor comes from: Megamind took some big swings, with a wondrously over-the-top Will Ferrell voicing laser-focused jabs at comic-book clichés that form the backbone of a well-made parody. This time around, however, Megamind just isn’t up to scratch.

Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate and Megamind Rules – First Images

It’s telling that none of the original voice cast have returned. Sure, it would have required a miracle to get Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and David Cross back in the recording booth for a low-budget sequel. Unfortunately, their chemistry can’t be replicated, either, and while the new voice cast puts in a decent effort, it’s just missing that special something – the seemingly effortless back and forth between Ferrel and Cross, for instance.

Keith Ferguson is riotously hammy as Megamind, but Ferrell is a tough act to follow – Ferguson never quite reaches the comedic heights of Ferrel’s over-enunciated vowels and cackling monologues. Elsewhere, Megamind vs. the Doom Syndicate’s voice casting is pretty so-so. Josh Brener takes over for Cross as Minion (who has been renamed Ol’ Chum for… let’s just say Despicable reasons) and does an admirable job as Megamind’s fishy sidekick. But there’s minimal spark between Ferguson and the Silicon Valley alum, or any of the cast for that matter, and this falls apart even further when it comes to reporter Roxanne Ritchi (now voiced by Laura Post).

The will-they won’t-they tension between Megamind and Roxanne is all but gone, and a bland performance from Post leaves little room for emotion. Megamind may have gotten the girl, but now the poor guy has no idea what to do with her. This too feels like a missed opportunity – one that isn’t played for laughs but instead simply comes across as a flawed misunderstanding of the original film. Or worse still, a change of direction that makes no sense, relegating Roxanne from love interest to another dear old chum.

Then there’s the Doom Syndicate itself – a ragtag band of evil miscreants that range from bland to slightly less bland. Sure, their squabbling and bickering over leadership of the group injects a shot of well-needed humor into the movie. Individually, however, they’re just not very original. Pierre Pressure (voiced by Scott Adsit) is too close a match for The Incredibles villain Bomb Voyage, and it only gets worse from there. A generic lava monster, a dark knight, and a garish version of X-Men’s storm round out the team, with designs that would look more at home in an episode of PJ Masks.

This straight-to-streaming sequel is doomed from the start

Then there’s the team’s motivation: It seems as though the Doom Syndicate lacks direction, and their evil plot is as well thought out as “Let’s do something evil”. Why? Because it’s so evil! Again, this simply falls flat, turning these two-bit villains into two-dimensional caricatures. It’s a shame, really: Megamind played fast and loose with superhero standbys – secret identities, extraterrestrial origin stories, and the like – to create something that may not have been hugely novel, but was at least entertaining. No such luck here.