Despicable Me is a movie that's so sweet that even the fart jokes are adorable. In what's turning out to be a great year for animated films, this latest family adventure is definitely well worth checking out for both kids and adults. And you don't even have to see it in 3D.
Gru (a Russian-accented Steve Carell) prides himself on being the world's finest supervillian. Along with his army of yellow minions, he's managed to pull off a number of high-profile thefts, most notably the Times Square Jumbotron screen. But when a new high-tech villian called Vector (Jason Segel) threatens to outdo him, Gru plans the ultimate heist: he's going to steal the moon. Unfortunately, the Bank of Evil refuses to give him a loan until he gets his hands on the shrink ray needed to pull off the crime, which Vector has already stolen and hidden away in his high-security fortress.
Desperate, Gru winds up adopting three orphaned young girls to sell cookies to Vector so he can sneak in and steal the shrink ray. He intends to return the girls to the orphanage once the job is done, but of course within about 30 seconds they manage to melt his supervillian heart and make him realize the maybe the moon isn't the most important thing he needs in his life.
The story to Despicable Me is very predictable, and you can see most of the jokes coming a mile away. Overall, I'd put it behind Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon on my list of favorite animated films this year (I have yet to see Shrek Forever After). But even so, the movie is a lot of fun and it's absolutely adorable. The voicework is top-notch. Even the little girls were soliciting plenty of "awwww's" from audience I saw the movie with, which was mostly adults. In addition to Carell's usual awesomness, the movie also features Russell Brand as Gru's gadget man, Dr. Nefario, whose advanced age tends to prevent him from hearing Gru's instructions correctly, to hilarious results. The always classy Julie Andrews is also in the film as Gru's perpetually disappointed mother.
Gru's minions, which seem to have made up the movie's entire advertising campaign, are a blast. They reminded me a bit of the slugs from Flushed Away. They don't necessarily add anything to the story, they're mostly there to randomly pop up and cause some kind of comedic chaos. What cracked me up the most about them is how, as strange as they were, they all had normal names like Phil or Kevin.
I did not see the movie in 3D, which was fine, since it was a digital screening and looked just fine without it. But it did seem like they had fun with a few scenes for the 3D version - such as the scene where the girls take Gru on a rollercoaster ride, and some extra scenes during the credits where the minions are trying to see how far out of the screen that they can jump. So if you're a fan of the 3D, you'll probably enjoy that version even more.
If you find time in between Inception screenings this weekend, definitely check out Despciable Me. You'll have a great time.