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Review of 'Despicable Me'

(+1/2 stars)

Official movie poster.  Yep.
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Despicable Me is adorable, cute, and many other unmanly and emasculating words.  If you're an emotional person of the male gender, you might cry while the girl next to you laughs at you.  Loudly.  That's fine.  It's worth it because this is a great film.  In addition to the cutesy stuff, it's also very funny. 

Steve Carell stars as Gru, the film's protagonist (also a supervillain).  He's in direct competition with another supervillain, Vector, played by Jason Segal.  The plot is almost paint-by-numbers, where Gru starts off as a hardened villain but seems to have a charm about him and a quality where he might turn his life around. 

Enter the three orphan sisters: Margo, Agnes, and Edith.  They spend their time bickering with one another while relying on each other for support because they can't get anybody to adopt them.  Their orphanage mistress is despicable (me) to them.  You can probably guess how Gru and the three orphan girls will cross paths.  Much of the heart of the movie comes from Gru's interactions with these three orphans, especially Agnes, the youngest sister, who lights up the screen with everything she says.  Her innocence and unrelenting optimism amidst all of the adversity in the world is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

But enough of that sad stuff.  Most of the movie is watching Gru's shenanigans through Steve Carell's over-the-top crazy accent.  Gru's first appearance in the movie--followed by his own theme song--lets you know to fasten-up because this is going to be a pretty funny movie no matter how old you are.

He also leads a team of little yellow (no racism, literally yellow) creatures that look a lot like Servbots.  (It's hard to explain.  Just look at the picture.)  Though Gru's ambitions of crime and villainy are bad traits, the way he treats his tiny cute workers is admirable.  It doesn't hurt that these creatures are probably what most younger viewers will find the funniest parts of the movie.  They make unintelligible noises and hit each other.  A lot.  They all work very hard to work with Gru, especially now when he's trying to pull off the biggest heist of all-time whilst trying to take care of three little girls.

Yeah, the plot seems kind of simple, but it works in this movie because it makes you really care about its characters.  Margo, the oldest orphan sister, is subtly the most complex character in the movie.  She has to be mature and adult-like for her two younger sisters even though she looks like she's only 9 or 10-years-old, but it doesn't mean she's still not a little bratty girl when the three sisters are annoying Gru to death. 

Oh just watch the movie.  Steve Carell's accent is ridiculous.

Despicable Me is now playing in your local theaters.


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