Clever, sentimental and oh so funny, Despicable Me has its heart in the right place as it reminds us that Pixar isn’t the only studio capable of delivering a solid animated feature. Sporting an aesthetic reminiscent of “The Addams Family” cartoons, the film deals with a villain who’s not as bad as he thinks he is and has a cold heart just waiting to be melted.
Gru (voice by Steve Carell) is his name and he’s feeling a bit threatened by a new bad-guy-on-the-block named Vector (Peter Segel). Seems he’s been pulling off bigger and better crimes and Gru vows to outdo him by stealing the moon. Problem is, he needs the shrink ray Vector owns to pull this off so he adopts three orphans, Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher) to help him steal it.
While we can see the film’s happy ending coming from a mile away, the manner in which directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud get us there is wholly entertaining and quite smart. Moving at a brisk pace, they throw one smart gag after another at us, unafraid to challenge the kids in the audience or go out of their way to speak directly to adults at times. The sentiment at its core is never forced or manipulative, which provides some solid emotional ground in this inventive tale. Visually striking and emotionally satisfying, Despicable Me is a film that reminds us of how powerful a bit of unconditional love can be.
Contact Chuck Koplinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.