7.23.2010

Despicable Me : 3 of 5

It's always nice to see an animated feature do so well at the box office, and Despicable Me certainly deserves praise. It's tough to say what has made this film so successful, since there's a lot to like about it, but nothing that really stands out to make Despicable Me a landmark movie. Maybe that's why it's a good film, because it doesn't try too hard, but rather takes a fairly typical plot (bad guy softens up by taking care of cute kids) and puts it in a crazy world where villains are overflowing with funky gadgetry and steal whatever they want without resistance. Steve Carell does a fine job as the voice of Gru, making him funny without crossing too far into Boris Badinoff territory, and his delivery really sells the character development that occurs when Gru's heart melts for the three orphan girls. The animation design is pretty cool, although Gru's lack of forehead kind of bothered me (where does he keep his brain?), and I enjoyed noticing little details like cloth textures and cool sets especially the stark differences between Gru and Vector's lairs. Gru's "minions" (kind of like Oompa Loompas in a way) are pretty bizarre with their pill-shaped, yellow bodies. Some have two eyes, some only one, and they don't really serve much purpose, other than giving Gru someone to make speeches to, as well as inspiration for the marketing machine!. I decided to take my usual anti-3D stance and see this movie in 2D, and I definitely don't feel like I missed a thing (other than the obvious 3D jokes made by the minions during the closing credits). While Despicable Me won't ever be called a classic, I had a wonderful time enjoying this nice, original story, with fairly impressive animation for a relatively new studio.