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Despicable Me

Despicable Me

What he said:

He

Gru (Steve Carell) is one of the world’s most well known criminal masterminds. Though recently he’s been under some pressure due to the success of a younger, better-funded criminal named Vector (voiced by Jason Segel). He’s due for something big, so he hatches a plan to steal the Moon. This plan involves stealing a shrink ray from none other than Vector himself.

One day he decides to adopt three young girls to help implement his plan. Margo, Edith, and Agnes are thrilled to finally escape the orphanage, but unbeknownst to them they are about to become part of an evvviiillil plan.

Things don’t start off so great, but as time passes Gru (predictably, but it’s done well) has a change of heart. He begins to not only enjoy the girls’ company, but is actually starting to love them. Much like the Grinch on Christmas Eve, he develops a heart.

Of course there’s some problems along the way. Gru’s longtime friend and evil scientist Dr. Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand) enforces some tough love in order to get their evil plans back on track. And there’s Vector who’s all-too-willing to battle Gru for the heavyweight championship of criminal masterminds.

The voice acting was, for the most part, solid. I thought Steve Carell and Jason Segel did a great job. They captured exactly what the characters were. Russell Brand was surprisingly not annoying. He wasn’t a major factor in the movie, which is perfectly fine. The three girls were very well done. Their relationship with Gru is what holds the movie together. And of course there are the minions who are obviously there for the kids. They have a few funny moments, but will annoy anyone above 5 or 6.

Verdict: Thumbs up.

This movie was written was brought to you be the “He” and written on January 2, 2011.

What she said:

She

After the first half hour of Despicable Me, I thought this would surely be a thumbs down, but I’m happy to say that the movie clawed its way back on to the winner’s podium through some decent humor and a positive family-friendly message. 

The film starts off a little flat.  The jokes are sometimes funny, sometimes not so much, and it just kind of seemed like a Pixar rip-off.  But what helps to make this movie shine are the three little girls that our main character, Gru, adopts.  Once they enter the picture that’s when the story begins to pick up.  Gru, who is sort of a grinch, begins to soften and it’s the moments where you see him making progress toward becoming a compassionate human being that really resonate.  I feel like the rest of the storyline, Gru stealing the moon, is completely secondary. 

The little minions are sort of goofy oompa loompa types, and can be a bit annoying.  Some of their jokes don’t work and so it’s best, if you’re an adult, to just ignore them.  At least if you have the patience-level that I do.  The real value in this movie is the relationship that forms between Gru, and Margo, Edith, and Agnes.  If the viewer focuses their energy on this dynamic then you’ll surely find the film rewarding.

Not the best animated film of 2010, but worth a watch.

Diagnosis: Thumbs mostly up.