Despicable Me Review

Posted: November 5, 2010 in Review
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Despicable Me Review

It’s a little surprising that it’s taken so long for supervillains to get their turn in the spotlight. With superhero films seemingly on the way out, the focus has finally shifted, bringing us not one, but two films about supervillains at almost the same time. While Will Ferrell’s MegaMind is still on the way, Steve Carrel’s Despicable Me is here and it’s something of a disappointment.

The pyramids have been stolen and the world is in turmoil over this latest diabolical scheme by an evil genius. This is especially bad news for Gru (Carrel), who is now on the brink of retirement and subsequent liquidation by the bank of evil. He hatches a daring plot to steal the moon, but the Shrink Ray he needs for such an activity belongs to his arch-nemesis Vector (Jason Segel) and the only way to get in will involve adopting three young orphans.

The promotional material for the film is always adorned with the image of the little yellow minions. After fifteen minutes, you’ll understand why – they are they only part of this film that might stick out in the memory. Blatantly stolen from the Rabbids games on the Wii, the minions offer what might be the few bits of comic relief in the film.

Despite being an animated comedy, the story doesn’t actually lend itself to humour with any ease. The main bulk of the narrative sees villain Gru slowly turning himself into a model dad and putting his life of villainy behind him, but it doesn’t happen with any degree of subtlety – it happens in one scene! Gru himself isn’t a very interesting character and the three children all seem like quite bland brush strokes – one doesn’t like Gru, one does and the other is indifferent. In fact, Russell Brand’s mad scientist Professor Nefario and antagonist Vector are far more interesting to watch than the main body of the film.

All in all, Despicable Me is a disappointment. The minions will keep children chuckling, but there’s nothing on offer for their parents to enjoy. Like Gru himself, it all seems a bit soulless.

2 stars

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