|“||Oh, I wouldn't say freed. More like, under new management!||„|
|~ Tighten's most famous quote before taking over Metro City.|
|“||This town isn't big enough for two supervillains!||„|
|~ Tighten challenging Megamind.|
Hal Stewart, better known by his supervillain name Tighten, is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 21st full-length animated feature film Megamind.
He is the former nerdy and creepy cameraman of Roxanne Ritchie who later became a vengeful, traitorous, and destructive supervillain as he was hit by the serum of Megamind. He is also Megamind's ultimate arch-nemesis.
|“||I can't believe you, All your gifts, all your powers, and you squander them for your own personal gain!||„|
|~ Megamind to Tighten about abandoning his destiny.|
As his former self Hal, he tends to be somewhat civil and sophisticated towards Roxanne, having a secret crush on her and would try to woo her, though she feels uncomfortable by his attempts. One example being were he invites her over to his place for a party where it's just going to be the two of them with a wedding photographer and a bouncy castle there. He also tends to be quite childish, immature (as when he throws a tantrum after accidentally slamming his hand on his news van), lazy, nadir and incompatible (as he criticized Roxanne’s sentimental news script on Metro Man, unknowing that she had in fact written the script herself).
After being equipped with Metro Man's powers, Hal (going by the name Tighten) became more determined to use his powers to win Roxanne's heart much like how Metro Man stuck with being a hero in order to gain adoration, but his recklessness caused Roxanne to reject him, much to Hal's distress and anger and leading him down into a dark path, where he starts using his powers for nefarious and diabolical purposes. After learning that Megamind was the one who gave him the powers and was dating Roxanne at that time, Tighten became hell-bent on destroying Megamind for "stealing his girlfriend" and later causes havoc on Metro City with his powers, much to his pleasure and everyone's dismay and horror (including Megamind).
As such, Tighten is more evil than Megamind ever was. While Megamind acted as a villain to get attention and balance out of his former rival Metro Man, Tighten acted purely out of spite, caused so much destruction for his amusement, and has shown no signs of sympathy or remorse on it. He also has proven to be in denial; retorting to Roxanne that he didn't have any good in himself, and blaming Megamind for making a fool out of him (though Megamind rightfully points out that Tighten is making a fool out of himself by squandering his powers for his gain).
Tighten also proved to be quite cowardly and overwrought, as when Metro Man (who was Megamind in disguise) arrived to confront him for his rampage, Tighten panicked and tried to fly away, though he later learnt the truth and fought Megamind for it.
He was introduced as simply being Roxanne Ritchie's nerdy cameraman named Hal. He has a crush on her, but his attempts at flirting with Roxanne only makes her very uncomfortable. While Roxanne is snooping around the headquarters of the film's protagonist, the supervillain known as Megamind, Hal accidentally gets hit by Megamind's serum, which gave him the powers of the seemingly deceased superhero Metro Man.
Megamind was planning on creating a new superhero to face after feeling isolated from his victory against Metro Man, so he tracks Hal to his apartment building and manipulates him by taking on the guise of his "Space Dad". Megamind attempts to train Hal into a hero, but unknown to Megamind, Hal is not as noble or just as Metro Man. However, Megamind believes that Hal is ready, and gives him a red-and-white suit and the name "Titan", which Hal misinterprets as "Tighten".
However, it turns out that Hal only wanted to take the superhero gig to "get the girl" by winning Roxanne's heart. The first thing he does is kidnap Roxanne under the pretense of 'rescuing' her, dropping her several times only to catch her again. Hal then reveals his identity to Roxanne but gets rejected for his recklessness, causing him to fly away in anger. Roxanne then continues dating Bernard (who is Megamind in disguise), much to Hal's disappointment and anger.
Believing that being a hero means to get the girl for himself rather than fighting for the greater good, Hal decides he is better off being a villain and goes on an unseen crime spree. After leaving Megamind waiting for several hours, the villain finds Tighten in his home. He reveals his true intentions of why he took the gig and offers a partnership with Megamind, with him as the muscular brawn and Megamind as the 'brain with glasses'. Horrified and outraged that his 'hero' turned out to be a selfish person, Megamind refuses and finally admits his true plan for Tighten to fight him and become the new hero; he even confessed that he's both Space-Dad and Bernard in disguise and that he's the one who gave Tighten the powers in the first place.
Realizing this, Tighten gets angry and battles Megamind, who is delighted by this in hopes of facing justice once again. Megamind is quickly defeated and awaits to go to jail again, but this doesn't change Tighten's decision to become a villain as the battle had instead increased his anger, and that he wants to kill Megamind rather than having him arrested. Horrified, Megamind intends to recapture Tighten by trapping him under a copper failsafe sphere, after learning that copper is Metro Man's weakness, but this fails, forcing Megamind to escape. Megamind eventually finds out that Metro Man is alive, having faked his weakness of copper and his death to retire being a superhero and focus on a career in music, as he felt tired battling Megamind and that he never had a choice of what he wants to be in life.
With Megamind on the run, the town's people initially congratulate Tighten for freeing them from Megamind but Tighten responds that he is taking over as the new villain and starts by violently flicking the Mayor off with his finger, much to everyone's shock. Without hesitation, Tighten terrorizes Metro City by burning the name 'Tightenville' into the ground in colossal letters, causing more damage to the city than Megamind has ever done. As such, the citizens attempt to evacuate the city to avoid getting into Tighten's wrath.
Feeling remorseful for letting this happen, Megamind turns himself back to prison, and Roxanne, feeling guilty for hurting Tighten's feelings, attempts to take action by appealing to Tighten's conscience. Unfortunately, Tighten denies that he has any good in him, and acts purely out of spite from being rejected by her. Tighten then kidnaps Roxanne and straps her to the radio tower where she rejected him, threatening to kill her if Megamind doesn't arrive to fight him.
Seeing this on TV, Megamind decides to take responsibility for his actions and arrives in his usual flamboyant style. He enacts a plan into freeing Roxanne and trying to stop Tighten. Tighten crushes him with the radio tower, but he turns out to be Megamind's right-hand man, Minion, in disguise. Tighten nearly kills Roxanne by shoving a bus, but Metro Man suddenly appears, splitting the bus into two, saving Roxanne. Tighten is frightened into fleeing by Metro Man's orders, but realizes that it's the real Megamind in disguise after the hero tells him to leave 'Metrocity'.
Tighten fights Megamind again and nearly kills him, but ultimately fails. Upon remembering where he left his defuser gun the night Roxanne dumped him after his Bernard disguise faltered away, Megamind takes the weapon, but Tighten throws him up into the sky before turning his rage towards Roxanne, hoping to finish her off. However, Megamind appears in front of Tighten after temporarily dehydrating himself to land himself into the water fountain where Roxanne is standing. After re-hydrating instantly, Megamind uses the defuser gun to remove all of the unearned powers from Tighten, rendering him powerless and reverting him to Hal for good. Having reveled in his real victory, Megamind saves Minion by throwing him into the water fountain, since he knows that fish need water to survive.
At the end after Hal's defeat, Megamind gets his Brainbots to repair all the damage he and Hal have done to Metro City, and he is praised as the new hero by everyone (including a cleverly disguised Metro Man). As for Hal, he is imprisoned in Megamind's old cell, serving a life sentence as punishment for his crimes against Metro City. He is seen dancing in Megamind's old cell at the end of the movie back to his old self.
He appears again in the video game. He escapes from prison and becomes the leader of the supervillain organization known as The Doom Syndicate. The Doom Syndicate helps Tighten steal both Metro Man and Megamind's DNA to become Blue Tighten with Metroman's brawn and Megamind's brain. Megamind defeats all the members of the Doom Syndicate and Blue Tighten, returning them to prison. During the game, Tighten is revealed to be dating the supervillainess, Hot Flash.
- His real name "Hal Stewart" is an amalgamation of the Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart.
- The "proper" spelling of Hal's "superhero" identity is the subject of much debate. Though it is implied that Megamind intended it to be spelled "Titan", Hal himself spells it as "Tighten", as do official printed media such as the "Art of" book, the character poster, the film novelization, and the closing credits. The film's subtitles also switch from "Titan" and "Tighten" halfway through.
- Tighten shares some similarities with Syndrome from Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles as both were dorky geeks who got rejected which made them angry but then gained super abilities of some kind which resulted in them seeking revenge. The main difference between them is that Tighten was possessed into being evil, while Syndrome willingly chose to be evil.
- Bradley Whitford and Simon Pegg were both considered for the role of Tighten before Jonah Hill was cast.
- According to Minion, Hal is twenty-eight years of age. While this is canon in the movie, in real life, Jonah Hill, who voiced Hal/Tighten, was two years younger than that when the film was released.
- There are several easy to miss hints that foreshadow that Hal isn't remotely heroic as Megamind assumed he was:
- In his first spoken words from the movie, after Roxanne gave a speech (which she wrote herself) in front of the camera about Metro Man, Hal himself bluntly insulted it, only because he may have thought that she is "into" the superhero (which she confirms that she really isn't), showing that he desperately wants Roxanne all to himself.
- When Hal tries to woo Roxanne with "I'll be watching you like a dingo watches a human baby!", an oddly creepy metaphor. This is the first major hint that he's a simp.
- In the crowd at the press conference after Metro Man's supposed death, Hal can be seen wearing a t-shirt with "Game Over" written on it. While it could be seen as a simple gag, it also subtly foreshadows his indifference toward Metro Man's heroism, that Megamind's game with Metro Man is at an end, and when Hal gets his powers, he won't be playing.
- When Hal tries to get Roxanne to go to his 'off the hook party", he lists the things he's arranged, including a bouncy house and a wedding photographer. When Roxanne turns it down, Hal tries to take it maturely, but as soon as he's out of her view, he throws a childish tantrum, declaring that girls don't like bouncy houses but "clowns" (notably: superheroes, foreshadowing his careless views of superheroes’ place in society) and punches the news van in frustration, thus foreshadowing Hal's extremely violent tendencies in the near future.
- When Roxanne introduced "Bernard" (who is actually Megamind in disguise) to Hal as her "partner", Hal himself then responded to "Bernard" by saying that he's her "partner" in a rather aggressive tone, proving how initially possessive he is to her.
- Additionally, when he saw Roxanne hugging "Bernard", Hal then responded to that moment quite negatively by saying that it was "weird for everybody" because she "accidentally" hugged "Bernard" instead of himself, which demonstrates his own jealousy towards any other man having affiliations with her, even if they aren't really romantic in nature.
- When Hal is surprised at seeing Megamind and Minion in his home and suspecting a robbery, he tries to deflect them into robbing his neighbor instead, which proves that Hal just cares for himself and doesn't care if the duo hurt his neighbor, even if said neighbor and him don't get along (which doesn't justify that anyway). Then, after Minion knocks Hal out with the forget-me stick, Minion states that Hal "doesn't look like the hero type to me.' Also, looking closely reveals a small book Hal was reading titled "Best Comic Book Villains Ever".
- One part of his training is reminiscent of Donkey Kong, where he plays the role of Mario. In the game's canon, Donkey Kong's actions are actually in revenge to Mario torturing him in the game's far less popular prequel, Donkey Kong Circus.
- On top of that, Mario becomes the bad guy again Donkey Kong Jr., where he kidnaps Donkey Kong. This foreshadows that while Hal is supposedly being the hero, he will become the villain shortly after.
- In the training sequence, he gleefully disembowels the Megamind mannequin and melts its face with his heat vision, which ultimately left the real Megamind (in his Space Dad disguise) in complete shock. While played for laughs at the time, it shows Hal has a dark side that is willing to ignore the "Thou Shalt Not Kill" superhero standard.
- One of the things Hal/Tighten does with his X-Ray Vision is to spy on Roxanne, thus hinting he only cares about using his powers for his personal gain.
- This one is probably more on the nose, but when Minion was describing Hal to Megamind via a computer, he stated that Hal had no criminal records or any records in general, that is until Hal used his powers for selfish/unlawful reasons.