Despicable Me

15 Jul

Despicable Me can be summed up in two words:

Mostly harmless.

Despicable Me stars Steve Carrell as the super villain Gru. This master
of disaster goes about society wreaking havoc in his flying car while
living in an ostentatious house that doubles as a hideout/lair for his
thousands of minions. How this guy isn’t in jail or at least under police
surveillance is somewhat mind boggling, but I’ll give the movie the
benefit of the doubt.

Is this movie hilarious? No, but it makes you giggle.
Is this movie emotional? Not really, but it doesn’t really try.

Despicable Me is very self-aware. And I appreciated that. It knows that
it’s blithe entertainment and doesn’t swing for the fences. The Minions
were the highlight of the film for me, but I suspected that the film was
going to fall prey to what many movies do. Many films find something that
is funny (the Penguins in Madagascar, “slappa-da-bass” in I Love You, Man)
and revisit that joke so much that it stops being funny. They suck all
the humor out of it and keep going back for more. However, Despicable Me
defied that expectation, and never let the Minions overstay their welcome
for screen time.

Also, Despicable Me gets a few laughs out of the fact that Gru becomes
responsible for three kids. As one would expect, various shenanigans
ensue from his parental ineptitude and their rambunxiousness. However, it
never goes over the top, as I expected it to. I expected the movie to
draaaaag out this point into as many “funny” scenes as possible, but it
did not. The joke never overstayed it’s welcome.

As a result, Despicable Me manages to stay entertaining and moderately
engaging throughout the hour and a half. It’s nothing that I would ever
buy, but it is entertaining enough to see once.

Oh, and luckily the poop jokes were limited to the three or four you saw
in the trailer.

Two things bugged me, though.

The plot device leading to Gru adopting three kids was, to put it mildly,
RETARDED. I cannot imagine how little thought must have been put into it.
I know it’s a kids movie, but COME ON. I won’t spoil it, but it irked me
slightly.

Also (minor spoiler here though) Gru’s motivation for becoming a super
villain caused a minor issue for me. It is revealed that his mom was
always mean to him, never giving him the slightest bit of attention, no
matter how amazing his achievements, up to and including building a full
size rocket at the age of 10-ish. We’re supposed to think that she’s just
a naturally cruel person.

Despicable Me
Image via Wikipedia

But when Gru starts warming up to the kids he adopted in this movie, we
see a scene where his now elderly mother is having a warm and humorous
moment with the three adopted girls, laughing and being grandmotherly.

Time out.

She’s an excessively critical neglectful parent, but she cares about these
adopted kids she’s never met before? So she’s not just a spiteful person,
she’s just spiteful towards Gru….her son.

What the hell?

So she’s actually a nice person, just not to him?

WTF?

Anyway, that’s just a minor point, it just didn’t make sense to me.

For how blissfully innocuous this movie is, I give Despicable Me a 67 out
of 100.

For Attebiz Movie Reviews, I’m the J-Man.

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