Despicable Me Movie Review

This bright and silly animated comedy is a remarkably effective combination of deranged humour, nutty slapstick and cute sentimentality. And while there's nothing particularly original, it's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying it.

Gru (voiced by Carell) is a supervillain who has never quite made it. Despite a series of impressive gadgets created with the help of his sidekick Dr Nefario (Brand), he's never managed that one big stunt that would make his name. This is something his mother (Andrews) constantly reminds him. So when young upstart villain Vector (Segel) steals a pyramid, Gru decides to go for his big dream: kidnapping the moon. But his first step involves adopting three orphan girls (Cosgrove, Gaier and Fisher), and they turn out to be rather distracting.

Combining jagged black comedy with sweet squidginess is never easy, but these filmmakers make it work with a skilful use of sharp characterisations and vocal casting. Despite a total lack of superheroes to provide a counterpoint, Gru is a hilariously ghoulish baddie. And we can see the child inside him, reluctantly trying to avoid coming out to play. While the little girls are brilliantly feisty and fearless even as they're vulnerable and, yes, irresistibly adorable.

Even more irresistible is the crowd of minions who assist Gru in his work; even without intelligible dialog, they're almost painfully endearing (and rather reminiscent of Toy Story's aliens). Adults and children alike will wish they had a gang of them too. And the animators have a lot of fun with them, as well as with eye-catching 3D effects that keep our adrenaline pumping, from a raucous rollercoaster to a rocket to the moon.

Directors Coffin and Renaud maintain an extremely lively tone, with constant visual gags and some rather menacing violence. Although it plays out like a Road Runner cartoon, as neither heat-seeking missiles nor ravenous guard-shark actually harms anyone. This, combined with the formulaic plot structure, removes all tension and suspense from the film. We never doubt for a second where this is heading, so we just sit back and giggle all the way through.

Cast & Crew

Director : Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Producer : John Cohen, , Christopher Meledandri

Comments

Despicable Me Rating

" Good "

Rating: PG, 2010

Advertisement

More Steve Carell

Stunning 'Foxcatcher' Leaves Eerie Mark on Telluride Film Festival

Bennett Miller's intense drama Foxcatcher - which previously scored five-star review at the Cannes Film Festival - has stunned audiences at the Telluride Film Festival....

Telluride Film Festival: Bennett Miller Describes What Attracted Him To 'Foxcatcher' Project

Bennett Miller's soon-to-be-released film Foxcatcher has been shown at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado and the director has discussed what aspects of the story...

'Foxcatcher' Leads Almost Went To Ryan Gosling and Bill Nighy

Foxcatcher, the psychological drama from the supremely talented Bennett Miller, is without doubt one of the most anticipated movies of the year and Sony has...

'Maps to the Stars' For NY Film Festival, But It's All About 'Foxcatcher'

David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is one of the more eye-catching movies announced for the 52nd New York Film Festival though the drama starring...

Advertisement

Toronto Film Festival Unveils Line-Up

David Cronenberg's new film Maps to the Stars which stunned critics at Cannes and features Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson will screen alongside another Cannes...

A Week In Movies: Gibson's Major Award, Special Screenings In New York, Set Photos From London And Three Big Trailers

This is a week when most attention was on the sporting world, with the Wimbledon finals, the Formula One British Grand Prix and the Tour...

Steve Carell Is Almost Unrecognisable In 'Foxcatcher' [Trailer & Pictures]

Steve Carell is almost unrecognisable as paranoid schizophrenia and wrestling obsessive John du Pont in the upcoming film Foxcatcher. Directed by Bennett Miller who was...

Foxcatcher Trailer

John du Pont is a multi-millionaire sports coach who has taken an interest in wrestling, wishing to train up a team for the upcoming 1988...

Advertisement