Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Contrary to its title, 'Despicable Me' is a charming and hilarious animation film that kids and adults will equally enjoy.
Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a slightly over-the-hill villain who's being beaten at his own game by the new kid on the block, a young bad guy named Vector (voiced by Jason Segal) who's just stolen a pyramid from Egypt and replaced it with an inflatable replica. To show the world that he won't be overthrown by an amateur upstart, and to prove he's still got his evil mojo intact, Gru must come up with a brilliant plan that will establish him as the biggest, baddest villain of all time.
Gru decides he will steal the moon.
Working with him to pull off this coup is his chief consultant on the project, a mad scientist named Dr Nefario (voiced by Russel Brand), and the 'Minions' -- dozens of small, yellow, capsule-shaped creatures who adore Gru, and who scurry about doing all kinds of jobs for him.
To steal the moon, they need to shrink it first, which means Gru must swipe the "shrink ray machine" from Vector's den. So Gru adopts three little orphan sisters with the sole purpose of using them to distract Vector. It doesn't take a genius to guess that once these adorable girls enter Gru's home, they make their way into his heart as well.
Predictable but unabashedly cute, Despicable Me doesn't shy away from tugging at your heartstrings. The little yellow 'Minions' are the most lovable creatures who evoke enormous affection without ever needing to use words. And the tale of the nasty fellow who's actually a softie inside may be a familiar one, but it still works because Steve Carell turns Gru into such a vulnerable chap. His back-story -- as a kid traumatized by his mother's indifference -- lends this film some of it's funniest moments.
At least one scene -- a thrilling roller-coaster ride that Gru takes the girls on -- justifies the price of watching this film in 3D, but its heart lies in its characters and their relationships. Expect to find a lump in your throat more than once, especially in the scenes between Gru and the little girls, and one particularly touching one in which the Minions offer him their savings to build a rocket after the bank turns down his request for a loan.
Despicable Me doesn't have the sheer inventiveness of Up or the bravado of a film like Wall-E. But it's a simple enough entertainer that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy in the end. I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five for Despicable Me; it's among the best animation films this year after Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon. Don't miss it.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Kanishka Borkar, Secunderabad
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