Sunday, 31 October 2010

Despicable Me movie review

Despicable Me is a very enjoyable computer-animated movie which stars Gru (voiced by Steve Carell - I'm not quite sure what accent he was aiming for, but whatever it was, he missed), criminal mastermind and leader of a fearsome army of minions.  Well, kinda cute, harmless, stupid minions... but criminal minions nonetheless.  After an upstart criminal mastermind steals the Great Pyramid and replaces it with an inflatable replica, Gru is determined to find a way to outdo even that with the greatest theft of all time - and even his mother might show him a bit of respect and appreciation if he manages that.  First though he'll have to convince the bank manager, Mr Perkins (Will Arnett), to lend him some money to build a spaceship...

He also has to contend with new kid on the block Vector (Jason Segal), who seems able to outdo him in every way and captures the Shrink Ray, which is vital to Gru's plans.  Though he tries everything, Gru is unable to get past the incredible defences of Vector's fortress... but then three little girls selling cookies manage to get in, and Gru hatches a plan...

He decides to adopt the three girls, and so his diabolical plan nears completion.  However something unexpected happens (well, not unexpected to any adults and probably not many of the children watching, but unexpected to Gru himself) - he and the girls start forming a family unit, much to the disgust of his accomplish Dr Nefario (voiced by Russel Brand).  The plot is fairly predicable, but there are some great moments even though you can see them coming a mile off.

The visuals are top quality, and with Hans Zimmer composing you know the music's going to be great.  The voice acting is mostly very good, aside from Carel - I just wasn't quite sure if he was supposed to have an accent, supposed to be putting on an accent in order to fit in with his character's stereotype, or what - and Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, eldest of the adopted girls, sounded much older than her character.

The movie was a bit lacklustre to start with - though it was enjoyable enough it all seemed a bit pedestrian for much of the first half.  The second half was much better; things moved faster, the humour was better with laughs coming thicker and faster, and the characters developed.  There were actually some very touching moments in Despicable Me, particularly when Gru saw the drawing the girls had added to the bottom of his family tree.  Some other things to look out for are the Godfather parody when Gru wakes up to find a doll's head in his bed, and Edith uttering the line ": When we got adopted by a bald guy, I was thinking it'd be more like Annie".  There could perhaps be more for older members of the audience to enjoy, but there was certainly enough to make Despicable Me worth watching, and the kids in the audience I was in seemed to love it.

It's not among the very best computer-animated movies - and for something a little similar that I enjoyed more, see Monsters vs Aliens - but it's good and definitely worth watching.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog


Aditya said...

Yeah we can say Carrel had a mixed accent but I felt it worked brilliantly. Very well written Sir , some points i missed during the movie. Thanks

travellinman said...

These animated movies are starting to bring an older audience into them. Despicable me was one of those movies that really caught my attention and really go the distance when adding content to keep the viewers content. I look forward to how much it can keep from here on out.