Genres: Comedy, Kids/Family and Animation
Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.
Release Date: July 9th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and mild action.
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Directed by: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
JJ Rating: B+
See It Again: Maybe.
Own it: No thanks.
Recommend it to: those that enjoy being entertained by animation. It’s good enough for that and it has likable characters.
Gru (Steve Carell) wants to be the bestest super-villain ever! BUT…Vector (Jason Segel), a once sidekick, stands in his way of achieving such glory! Then Gru adopts three little girls just to use them to get into Vector’s home to steal back what was stolen from him in order to achieve such glory! However, they alter him in ways he hadn’t thought possible for a villain of his caliber. Despicable Me.
Steve Carell was perfect to play Gru. I fell into the story and followed along without even thinking of who voiced Gru. He had his own distinct voice that wasn’t Carell’s. I like when the voice is the character’s and not the actor’s. There’s a weird thing, though, with Toy Story that Woody and Buzz sound just like the actor’s who depict them, but the way they use their voice to embody the character allows for a similar mentality. Liken to how they are different characters in movies, they don’t sound the same because of how they use their voice, even though you can recognize them; which is different with Brad Pitt and his new movie Megamind. Watching that trailer, I hear Brad Pitt and that’s it. Maybe it’ll be different when the film comes out, but his voice is just his voice—no added character. It bugs me. Everyone in Despicable Me did an awesome job with their voices. Russell Brand as the old, old, old, old man Dr. Nefario was fantastic. Will Arnett, Rob Hubel, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews all added to the consonance of the film’s projection. I got lost in the story forgetting the voices I knew.
Ah, the Minions were hilarious. They’re so quirky and bizarre that if you watch one side you’ll miss something a certain Minion does on the other. Their clever usage was maximized perfectly, definitely the best part of the film. There’s a lot of little parts were it would be fine without them, but with them they enhance Despicable Me, unique characters do that.
Despicable Me has a level of cuteness because of the three little girls. Each one having their own personality just like three friends do in TV shows or in other movies: the Smart One, the Tough One and the Sweet One. Their use in the story was to simply wear Gru down and make him into mushy mush. As predictable as that was from the onset, the charm wasn’t lost on me. The adorable scenes toward the end flowed nicely and I didn’t feel shoved into caring.
Despicable Me’s main problem is it doesn’t have the Pixar touch. There’s no powerful caring going on. The difference between Pixar and Universal is that Pixar is the cool, poet guy who can make you laugh, swoon and cry without making you feel like a loser. Universal is like the guy that makes you laugh because of his fart jokes and silly nature, but makes you feel awkward when he turns serious and tries to get you to care about his pain. Universal continues to try to nestle in to that same spot in the heart that Pixar already owned since 1995, but they continue to miss the mark just like other animation studios. Normally the king of the hill is easy to win if you continue to try, but Pixar has dug in their heels and will not budge, nor will they share the spot. They continue to reign supreme, though Universal did move up a notch with Despicable Me and their adorably evil creation Gru.