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[personal profile] innocent_man
Despicable Me is an animated film about Gru, a supervillain who just wants to be the best villain he can be. He's already stolen the Times Square Jumbotron and the Statue of Liberty (the small one, from Las Vegas), and now he's set his sights on the moon!

Problem is, a younger, hipper villain (Vector) has decided he'd rather do it first, and he's the bank manager's son (the bank is in the business of bankrolling villains, as long as they're profitable, which is perfectly realistic). Vector steals a shrink ray before Gru can, and his house is too well-guarded for Gru to break in...so he comes up with a convoluted plan - adopted the three little orphans who are selling Vector cookies!

OK, so it's kind of contrived, and the initial scenes when Gru is adopting and dealing with the kids are kind of awkward, and not always funny, but as Gru warms to the kids the movie picks up speed. He turns his villainy to a kind of cool-dad protection, but he allows the kids to go back to the orphanage when his evil henchman (Dr. Nefario) kind of pulls rank and gets him focused. But then Vector kidnaps the kids, and Gru figures his shit out enough to save them.

The movie is cute, and there are some good bits. Far and away, the best consistent bit is Gru's little yellow henchman. He knows them all by name, and treats them as friends or employees more than mindless henchman. I like, then, that Gru's humanity is foreshadowed by the way he treats his minions, and he has a sense of fairness that a villain really shouldn't. Like Megamind (a far superior movie, IMO; we'll get to the M's), Gru seems to transition into the role of hero at movie's end.

There's a sequel coming; it could be fun or it could be bloody horrible. We'll see, because I'm sure my kids will make me take them to see it.

My grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium-high

Next up: Devil's Advocate

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January 2013

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