“Despicable Me” is a CGI-animated film (are there any other kinds anymore? Could I just call it an animated film?) starring Steve Carell as the voice of Gru, aging super villain on the doorstep of the end of his career. Younger super villains, such as Jason Segel’s Vector, are coming up behind him, and Gru really only has one last shot at super villain greatness: shrinking and then stealing the moon. Aided by his even older friend Dr. Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand) and hundreds of little, yellow, (different) moronic minions, Gru sets out on his plan… which eventually involves him adopting three young children, who wind up turning Gru’s life upside-down.
What do you want me to say? This is a straight-up kid-pleaser of a film. For the older children, there’s a bit of a moral, some cuteness and enough “cool” moments to make the time spent watching the film worth it (this goes for adults too, by the way). For the younger set, there’s the slapstick, gibberish-speaking minions. When all is said and done, it’s nowhere near as clever as “The Incredibles,” nor did I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed “How To Train Your Dragon” BUT… that really means very little. This film isn’t aimed at me, isn’t remotely for me and the little criticisms I can come up for it don’t really amount to much.
For example, why use “Despicable” in the title? Gru isn’t all THAT bad (see what I mean about criticisms here not amounting to much). Is this the production’s attempt at torturing parents everywhere who now have to deal with some kid mispronouncing their way through, “what does displickable mean?” But that’s all I got. The film moves along at a quick pace and when it does have a momentary lag, it’s obvious as to why it’s doing it (such as a brief detour with some minions at a shopping center: all about making the young kids happy, as they’re probably not being entertained by Gru’s novelty accent quite as much anymore). The violence, if one could call it that, is strictly of the Bugs Bunny-esque variety. Minions explode, but no one actually gets hurt.
And while I saw this film in normal 2D (I think I’m done with 3D for a long time, possibly forever; even 3D TVs don’t impress me much right now), I have to applaud the film for at least TRYING to utilize the technology somewhat. Well, specifically in the end credits with some more minion fun, and I can’t really remember any other time 3D could be warranted so, still, save your cash but… at least that’s more than, say, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” or “Clash of the Titans” tried to do.
Listen, you’re going to see this because you’ve probably got kids, or are going to attend with kids or are a big kid at heart. Since this movie is aimed at kids, it will hit its mark. You may not come out screaming, “Classic! Love it!” but you likely won’t be disappointed. If you are disappointed, you’re either a small child trying to act more mature to impress someone else OR you probably shouldn’t have gone to see the film in the first place (unless you had to, because your kids wanted to see it, in which case I would place your judgment aside and listen for the laughter of your children instead).