Thursday, July 29, 2010

Movie Review - Despicable Me

Despicable Me - ***

Starring:  Steve Carell, Jason Segal

Here is another guest blog from The Jackie Report.  This is her take on Despicable Me, which The Jeff Report agrees with.

Review: “Despicable Me” is a highly entertaining movie that offers some of the best 3D animation of the year. The main character, Gru ( voiced by the always likable Steve Carell), is a super villain who gets his jollies by stealing national monuments and world attractions. The only problem is that Gru is not very good at his job. He has stolen the Statue of Liberty…from Vegas and the Eiffel Tower…also from Vegas, but has yet to pull off a caper that makes the world stand up and take notice. Gru’s feelings of inadequacy are compounded when a much younger super villain named Vector (voiced by Jason Segal), manages to steal a pyramid from the Gaza strip and replace it with a blowup version. After Vector’s ruse is dubbed the “crime of the century” by the media, Gru decides he needs to up his game and devises a plot to steal the moon.

Gru plans to do this by commissioning his minions (thousands of delightful, yellow, one-eyed, overall-clad, gibberish-speaking midgets) and one very old scientist to build a shrink ray that is capable of shrinking the moon to the size of a pea so that Gru may pluck it out of the night’s sky. However, Gru’s plan is foiled when Vector learns of Gru’s plot and steals the shrink ray before Gru can carry out his scheme. In an effort to get the shrink ray back, Gru enlists the help of three doe-eyed orphan girls. He sends the girls to Vectors house armed with boxes of Girl Scout cookies which have secretly been replaced with “cookie robots.” The girls successfully infiltrate Vectors compound, and the cookie robots manage to steal the shrink ray back.

Equipped once again with his precious shrink ray, Gru decides to go forward with his plan to steal the moon. Unfortunately for Gru, just when it looks like he will be able to carry out his vision, the three orphans tell him that they are going to be performing in a dance recital of Swan Lake on the same night that has planned to steal the moon. This news sends Gru into a tailspin of indecision since he has (gasp!) developed deep feelings for the three girls that he initially only intended to use as pawns.

While “Despicable Me” is highly predictable, it is a visual delight that offers many laughs for children and adults alike. And, even though it doesn’t have the emotional depth of Toy Story 3 (Pixar’s latest offering) it is still well worth seeing. The beauty of this movie lies in the fact that its villains are actually likable. They are not seeking world domination, but simply want to pull off a few impressive heists. The only element of this movie that fell flat for me was the character of Vector. I have found Jason Segal to be extremely funny in some of his previous offerings (I Love You Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), but felt that his rendering of Vector was dull and lifeless. That being said, Vector doesn’t get much screen time, and what he lacks as a character is more than made up for by the exuberance of the minions. These little yellow men are the true scene stealers of the movie and their antics alone are worth the price of admission.

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