Watching Despicable Me restored my faith in films. I haven't had so much fun in the longest time! It was sheer joy to sit with the audience, young and old, and enjoy the vivid animation, super puns and delightful characters.
The action set pieces were wonderfully realised and so thrilling — following the swoop of the roller coaster or the crazy inventions courtesy the zany Dr. Nefario were an undiluted guilty pleasure.
Gru is an arch criminal who seems to be losing his grip on the number one spot with the arrival of the younger, cooler, Vector, who announces his arrival on the scene by an audacious theft of the Great Pyramid.
Gru's pride is hurt and he decides to top Vector's deed by stealing the moon. He approaches the Bank Of Evil (formerly Lehman Bros — nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to bankroll the project. The bank insists on Gru getting the shrink ray, which he does. Unfortunately, Vector steals it from him. Gru decides to adopt three orphan girls, Edith, Margo and Agnes, to steal the machine from Vector. He is gruff to begin with but the girls bring about a change of heart and everything turns out right in the end.
The characters are well etched. The girls are so loveable and that too not in that awful cloying kind of way. Gru with his long nose so reminiscent of Laszlo Carreidas (remember him in the Tintin adventure Flight 714?) makes for a fine anti hero, while his mum with her towering wig is formidable. The hard-of-hearing Dr. Nefario is great fun as are the bright yellow, bug eyed Minions. The redoubtable Miss Hattie from the orphanage is as fascinating as is her involved hairstyle, while Mr Perkins, the bank president, is the regulation banker from hell.
The voice cast from Steve Carell (Gru) to Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario) and Julie Andrews (Gru's mum) are super cool. Despicable Me with its eye popping 3D, visual and verbal puns (the bank statuary is simply brilliant) is the perfect family film.
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Sergio Pablos
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher
Storyline: A former super villain decides to adopt three orphan girls to help him steal the moon and defeat his arch enemy
Bottomline: Thoroughly enjoyable