MOVIE: Despicable Me (2010)

Well, okay.  It’s no Pixar movie, that’s for sure.   And while I didn’t hate it, I was pretty disappointed by this one overall.

Despicable Me is a predictable, extremely-cheesy animated film is about a dastardly villain, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell and oddly looking a lot like him at times), who is about to lose all his villainous funding if he doesn’t commit the theft of the century.  His position as the baddest bad guy on Earth is being threatened by a young up-and-comer named Vector — a nerd turned evil whose recent theft of the Great Pyramid has the entire world abuzz.

Gru decides the best way to reestablish himself as Nemesis of the Year is to steal a shrink ray gun currently being developed by a nameless Asian government, and then use it to shrink and then steal the moon.  But when Vector gets his hands on the gun first, Gru must find a way to get inside his heavily armed fortress to steal it back.

He decides the best way in is through three little girls who have been roaming the neighborhood selling cookies for their orphanage.  So, he disguises himself as a dentist and adopts the trio of pawns.  The older girl, Margot, is a bit suspicious, but the other two, especially the little one, Agnes, fall head-over-heels for Gru immediately.  And, of course, though he tries to resist their precious charms, he’s no match for the adorableness of children, and it’s not long before the foursome is a family and Gru decides to give up his life of crime for a life of puppies and rainbows instead.

Pixar movies (like the recent Toy Story 3, which I loved) somehow always manage to be extremely satisfying for me as an adult, while still remaining completely successful for kids.  The writing is always strong, the stories always entertaining, the characters usually well-developed, the jokes a good mix of dumb and clever.  This one, not so much.  I found myself getting impatient with it, in part because it has a lot of unnecessary “cute” filler scenes (the whole little-yellow-guys-in-supermarket scene = thumb-twiddler), but also because the story is one I feel like I’ve seen a thousand times.  It brought nothing new to the table, not even in terms of the characters’ cartoon technology.   With all the possibilities animation opens up to you, the best you’ve got is a freeze ray?  A shrink ray?  A squid gun?   Yawn.

I should probably also confess that the timing of my viewing of this film may have impacted my experience of it as well.  I saw it right after I’d spent an hour listening to a trusted confidant tell me the obvious solution to all my problems is having a baby.  I didn’t really appreciate this, to be honest.  And before I had a chance to move past it, suddenly there was Steve Carell essentially telling me the same damn thing.

Hey, guess what?  Not so much, Steve Carell.

I think kids will really enjoy this one, don’t get me wrong.  It’s funny in a good kid-humor kind of way, it’s got some entertaining little yellow dorky creatures, the villains blow lots of stuff up, etc.  But adults?  I don’t know.

It’s no Pixar movie.  That’s for sure.

[Pre-queue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Animation, Kids
Cast:  Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, Kristen Wiig, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett

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3 Responses to “MOVIE: Despicable Me (2010)”

  1. alisaj29 Says:

    Ok Meg, I think you know where this comment is going….. I liked this movie. Granted I didn’t see it the “traditional” way, and it cut out like 15-20 of the movie, but over all it made me laugh. And yes it wasn’t the best movie ever, but I wasn’t looking for it to be, I just wanted to here the little girls say “It’s so fluffyyyyyyy”. Plus bonus, Russell Brand was the voice of Dr. Nefario. Gru – “Why are you so old?”

    Thought it was a cute movie, wouldn’t necessarily watch it again, but it served it’s purpose at the time. 🙂

    “IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!”

  2. megwood Says:

    Definitely didn’t HATE it. Just didn’t love it either. It’s no Toy Story 3!

  3. marni Says:

    I liked it too. We went to see free movie “Jimmy Neutron” but the reel broke so the kids and I got to see this for free instead yesterday. I laughed out loud and thought it was sweet. Wow, yeah, DEFINITELY no Pixar movie, but really, what is? I think that TS3 is the highest reviewed movie of the year! They are just incredible.
    Have you seen “Julie and Julia”? Julia Child had an incredible life and romance with just her and her amazing husband. Really fun to see that in a movie!!

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