REVIEW: DESPICABLE ME (2010): *** out of 4 stars.
It has been a while since a non-Pixar animated movie made me laugh this hard. “Despicable Me” unfurled in a such a playful manner that it was a true delight to watch. From the pace and comedic timing to the animation and character selection, this film succeeded in creating one of the funniest films of the year.
Steve Carell voices the main character, Gru, who is an evil mastermind past his prime. When an up and coming villain steals a pyramid, Gru thinks it is time to get back on top and steal something bigger, the moon. Gru, assisted by Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his team of roundish, yellow creatures known as “minions”, attempts to steal a shrink ray so he can shrink the moon and steal it. However, his plans are impeded by a trio of little girls that he has adopted to incorporate into his plan of world domination, as well as the up and coming supervillain and arch-nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel).
The voice cast is a conglomerate of outstanding comedic actors that bring so much to the film. None of them over-do their characters, but play them to perfection, forming a great ensemble. Almost every new character that was brought on the scene was voiced by someone that was easily recognizable, including Will Arnett, Jack Mcbrayer, Danny McBride, Kristen Wiig, and Julie Andrews. It became part of the excitement every time a new character was introduced.
The best part of the film was watching the minions and their gibberish (with some Spanish mixed in I think). Their loyalty to their evil boss ,despite the ridiculous tasking and experiments, plus their love of fun and disco make them very endearing characters.
The film had some minor flaws, but not many, and I think some of them came from the fact that I was an adult watching a kids movie. However, the flaws were not gaping enough to take away from the enjoyability of the film. It is very easy to tell that the director, animators, and writers had a lot of fun with this film and it translates incredibly well to the screen. The use of 3-D was not overwhelming and they used it to enhance the film, especially in the roller coaster scene. They even show how cool it can be to break the fourth wall in the end credits.
In a year that is bereft of refreshing movies (with the exception of “Inception” and maybe one other) “Despicable Me” came as a surprise and I will definitely be looking for it on DVD in hopes of seeing more misadventures with the minions.