Review No. 507
Baby wants to watch! Baby wants to watch “Despicable Me”!
DIRECTED BY PIERRE COFFIN AND CHRIS RENAUD. PRODUCED BY CHRIS MELEDANDRI, JOHN COHEN, AND JANET HEALY. SCREENPLAY BY CINCO PAUL AND KEN DAURIO. STORY BY SERGIO PABLOS. FEATURING THE VOICES OF STEVE CARELL (GRU), JASON SEGEL (VICTOR “VECTOR” PERKINS), AND RUSSELL BRAND (DR. NEFARIO). ALSO FEATURING THE VOICES OF COFFIN, RENAUD, JULIE ANDREWS, MIRANDA COSGROVE, DANA GAIER, ELSIE KATE FISHER, WILL ARNETT, KRISTEN WIIG, JEMAINE CLEMENT, JACK McBRAYER, KEN JEONG, DANNY McBRIDE, AND MINDY KALING. DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PICTURES ON JULY 9, 2010. PRODUCED IN ENGLISH BY THE UNITED STATES. RUNS 1 HOUR, 35 MINUTES. SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES.
DESPICABLE ME WAS WATCHED ON JUNE 22, 2013.
“I’m havin’ a bad, bad day
It’s about time that I get my way
Steamrolling whatever I see
Huh, despicable me”
–“Despicable Me” by Pharrell
I love movie villains. You take a good script and a good actor, and I can’t get enough of them. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, the Joker in The Dark Knight, Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, Jack Torrance in The Shining, Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange. I could go on, but these are the five “bad guys” that do the most heinous things in cinema, yet their personalities are too appealing to not love. We can safely say that due to a well-written script, neatly executed animation, and a flavorful voice performance from Steve Carell, Despicable Me and its main character deserve a spot on that list as well.
Despicable Me outsources to every member of the family by making villains into caricatures. Our story is absurd but fun. Gru (Carell) has everything laid out for him in his career as a super-villain. His assistant, Dr. Nefario, is always there on his command; and although his minions are no more than oversized Twinkies who can fluently speak Gibberish, he has enough of them to keep him from doing much at all. The problem isn’t in this, but in Egypt, where the Giza pyramid has been stolen and replaced with an inflatable pyramid. The act has been dubbed the “crime of the century,” and Gru is determined to commit a greater crime: stealing the moon from its location in outer space. But how can he do so on a deadline, when his plan has taken him so far as to adopt three clingy girls?
Despicable Me embraces the realm of villainy, immersing us into Gru’s past. It’s not very clear or logical at the moment he adopts the girls, but we learn through flashbacks that perhaps Gru isn’t trying to use these girls for his evil plan. Perhaps, deep down, he wants to give them a more rewarding childhood than he himself had. The story is genuine, funny, thoughtful, and inventive. You can’t get up from the film unless it is understood, the irony that a movie flaunting evil, villainy, and pure badness, could be such a good time.
FOOTNOTE: Kudos to anyone who “got” the nod in the headline.