Despicable Me

despicableme

By Mike A. Smith

While on a sightseeing trip in Egypt a young boy gets too close to one of the pyramids and makes a startling discovery: it’s nothing but a large inflatable. Shocked, the news goes out that a master criminal must be at large. But who could it be?

An instant animated classic, “Despicable Me” ranks alongside “Toy Story 3” as one of the best films of the year, animated or otherwise. Perfectly directed and featuring a script that is equal parts touching and funny, the film draws you in from the first frame and holds you until the end. The film tells the story of Gru (Carrel), a one time master criminal who has been working on his masterpiece of a crime for a long time. His plan: shrink the moon and hold it for ransom. He is assisted by the brilliant Dr. Nefario (Brand) and his band of Minions, little creatures that, if Gru was Willy Wonka, would be his Oompa Loompas. The minions come in two varieties: one eyed or two eyed. Other than that they are indistinguishable, except to Gru who knows all of their names. Gru’s mother (Andrews) has never been supportive of her son or his ideas and she hasn’t changed now that Gru is an adult. When a trio of little girls come to his door selling cookies, Gru runs them off, unaware they live at the local orphanage run by the mean Miss Hattie (Kristen Wiig) who punishes children who don’t sell their quota of cookies by putting them in the “Box of Shame.” When Gru goes to the bank to get money to finance his plans (in a great example of the screenplay’s wit, the sign on the bank reads “Bank of Evil” (formerly Lehman Brothers). While there he runs into another would be bad guy, Vector (Segel), who has similar plans for the lunar planet. However Vector is about as successful a bad guy as Gru, with most of his nefarious weapons involving guns that shoot squid or the occasional piranha. Will Gru’s plan succeed? Will the cookie selling girls find a home? And, wow, isn’t that stuffed unicorn SO FLUFFY!

“Despicable Me” is a brilliant collaboration of on and behind the screen talents. The actors, led by Carrel, are perfectly cast, infusing a little of their own personality into their characters. The animation is bright and sharp, and the visuals tie with this past springs’ “How To Train Your Dragon”.

Extras

Some fun things for the kids, including games and 3 mini-movies featuring the Minions