Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Despicable Me" Review

I thought Pixar had no competition whatsoever in the animated genre. I was wrong. Toy Story 3 was amazing, and will remain one of the best animated films of all time, but damn Despicable Me was good! I want to tell you what I liked and didn't like about the movie.

What I liked about the movie:
The Actors/Characters
I don't want to list every actor and what character they played, but this is an amazing cast. Steve Carell plays Gru, a local villain past his prime as far as great heists are concerned. He tries to out-villain the competition. His competition is an up-and-coming villain named Vector, voiced by Jason Segel. Gru adopts three girls to help in his plan, but ends up adoring the girls to death and changing his ways.

Then there's the minions! So cute and funny, but they did remind me of the pigeons in Finding Nemo. Still fantastic! The minions are the Worker Bees to Gru and are hilarious. They don't talk, at least not in a language the audience is supposed to understand. But the way they fight each other, and argue with one another is really great. The animators found a million ways to make the same back creators look different.

The Story
Truly original in every sense of the word. My wife and I walked out trying to find a movie with a story even close to this, and we couldn't think of any. A villain past his prime, adopts three little girls to help him with his heist, falls in love with them, and changes his ways? Come on! Priceless. The minions helping Gru every step of the way is so original.

The Visuals
This is something that we've almost come to expect perfection from in these kind of movies. But let me tell you, not many computer generated animated films look as good as this one does. Despicable is gorgeous to look at. There are rich environments full of color. Environments such as the carnival Gru takes the girls to is so detailed it's going to take multiple viewings to catch it all. Great job!

What I didn't like:
The Orphan's Story
I really liked the three orphan girls in the movie. I just wish the movie would have better developed their story. Why are they orphans? If it was mentioned, I missed it. Are they going to get revenge on the evil women running the orphanage? The relationship building between Gru and the girls is satisfactory, but should have been developed a bit more. Maybe a scene or two more of Gru getting closer to the girls would have been in order rather than a montage involving pancakes and the girls.

The Real Villain
Vector is such a weak antagonist. There is some really creative stuff surrounding the character, like all the booby-traps protecting his house; classic! But Vector himself is not that great of a character. And his "weapons" are stupid: a "piranha gun," "squid gun," come on. Hopefully they'll come up with something better in the future.

The movie is not at Pixar's level, but is still great! Such an original story, you can't predict what's going to happen because it hasn't been done before. I would totally recommend the movie to anyone, young and old. Thumbs up to the news of a sequel, I'm more than OK with that!

1 comment:

FattMatt said...

In their defense, I'm going to assume that they left out the reason the girls were orphans because it would probably be a little too much for a purely comedic kids' movie, unlike Pixar's "Up."
But it's great to hear about the originality!
Can't wait to see this one myself.