Despicable Me‘s premise is simple; an evil villain uses a group of little girls to foil the plot of a young villain who aims to take all the fame. Along the way he learns to love the kids and change his ways. Executed with parodies and clichés, as long as your expectations are grounded you’ll be in for a world of laughs.
Gru, voiced by the talented Steve Carell (Date Night), is forced to reconsider his lifestyle as a super criminal when the young ambitious hooligan Vector pulls off the most epic crime, stealing the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Gru can continue to be a mediocre villain or give up with his minor achievements? He does neither and hatches his largest plot to date, shrink and steal the moon. His motivation for this stems from a life long dream to go into space but he fails to realize this and focuses on a life of crime to achieve this dream.
Rebellion and going against the grain come naturally for those who have been pushed away and ignored by most and Gru’s character is multidimensional in that fashion. His past is very much a driving embodiment of his day to day. Not the deepest of characters, but not to shallow to be ignored. His appearance is also a reflection of the parody nature this film plays with; he has a blended look of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and The Penguin.
Also parodied are his minions. These half Twinkie shaped creatures of unknown origin that speak in a similar fashion to the alien toys in Toy Story, with a violent humor rooted in The Three Stooges. The evil scientist Dr. Nefario, surprisingly voiced by Russell Brand, also aids Gru.
Stealing the show are the three little girls Margo, Edith and the most adorable Agnes. Their presence early in the film was sweet but surprising when they became an integral part of the plot. The source of most the laughs, this misfit trio of girls were inspired by Annie.
The story like most things in this movie is par for the course. It’s an entertaining film that families will enjoy together but won’t be winning any awards. It takes more to get the audience to think about a movie past the evening in which it was viewed.
Again, if your expectations stay where they should be, you’ll find yourself laughing and enjoying the cute and fun nature of this summer flick.
Rated PG for rude humor and mild action.