5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
This was a huge surprise. As a supposedly mature grown-up, there was no reason for me to watch Despicable Me, let alone enjoy it, and yet I did watch it and found out there was every reason. This French-made and English-spoken animation is funny, sweet, imaginative, surreal, and touching without resorting to sentimentality.
At the centre of it all is a pitch-perfect vocal performance from Steve Carrell as Gru (spot the "Gru-ray Disc" visual gag at the end), a wannabe global villain who covets a shrink ray in the possession of his arch-nemesis Vector (Jason Segel). With it he intends to go into space and steal the Moon. That's the plot, but the real story is Gru's relationship with three orphans, whom he intends at first to exploit, but who will ultimately tap into his coal-black heart.
I like the dynamic between Gru and the orphans in that they don't so much inspire a magical change in each other as come to accept each other. The orphans, at a cruel and mischievous age themselves, learn to adore Gru's monstrous behaviour, and in return Gru comes to appreciate and respond to their neediness - a neediness that he himself possesses, locked deep inside. Gru is correcting the mistakes of his own loveless upbringing.
Of course, this is all fairly implicit. The winning Disney-Pixar formula demands tearshed and laughter in equal quantities; Illumination Entertainment's equation seems heavily weighted toward the latter. There are slapstick moments of Marx Brothers-like contrivance and timing, and silliness dominates. The scene where Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) creates an army of "boogie robots" (after mishearing "cookie robots") is a keeper. And Gru's minions - homogenous yellow babblers seemingly designed with a squeezy toy in mind - are so entertaining that they've spawned their own spin-off movie, to be released later this year.
The film doesn't quite have the narrative or technical sophistication of Pixar's finest (for me, Monsters Inc. and Wall-E), but it is way more than a wannabe, and considerably funnier than the Ice Age or Madagascar sequels, franchises which are offering diminishing returns. Despicable Me has a humour and a warmth capable of melting through our iciest defences. I hope the sequel can match it.
119 of 132 people found the following review helpful
I loved this movie and my 10 y.o. daughter loved it even more. It is so good, that I hardly know where to begin - so I tried to put the whole review in four points, mentioned in the title:
1. Hilarity - IT IS HILARIOUS! REALLY! There is hardly any 15 seconds in this movie that would not contain a really good gag, children or/and adult oriented. Whoever wrote the scenario was a genius!
2. Despicability - the main character, Gru, is really a delight to watch: ugly, grumpy, mean, petty, vengeful, scheming, permanently aggravated and wholeheartedly devoted to the cause of evil - and in the same time incredibly insecure, convinced deep in his heart that he is a looser and haunted by the every day stronger feeling of the impending doom, for him and his evil army. I believe also that even his name is a kind of evil double entendre: it is obviously an abbreviation of "gruesome" but GRU was also, during the Cold War, the name of Soviet Army military intelligence, in charge particularly of assassinations abroad. In some James Bond movies GRU appeared under the name of Smertch. It gives a particular flavor to Gru, considering that his character is clearly inspired by some of the supervillains from James Bond franchise. His geriatric sidekick (and only friend - well, kind of) doctor Nefario and his murderous dog/rat/wolverine/skunk like pet (even after two viewings of this movie the jury is still out in my house on the question "what is this animal?") give also a great show!
3. Girl power - any parent of little girls (I have two) will fall immediately in love with Margo, Edith and Agnes, the three little orphaned sisters Gru adopts. He does it for his own evil reasons and does intend to treat them harshly and get rid of them as soon as they are no more needed - but of course ends by being completely taken under the sweet and soft but in the same time surprisingly totalitarian control little girls exercise over their fathers, adoptive or not...))) Agnes, the youngest of the three (she is barely out of the diapers) is particularly sweet - if only she was real I would adopt her on the spot and spoil her silly all the rest of my life. Tomboyish Edith is in principle the one who is the toughest and the boldest - but she was already hurt enough in her life to hide behind her pink hat which she refuses to take off even to sleep. Both her and the precociously adult (at least on surface of things) Margo are also a delight to watch. If you already are a parent of a little girl, you WILL LOVE this movie. And if you do not have yet a young daughter, get one!
4. But as far as the reasons to watch this movie go, even the girls must cede the first place to the minions! The incredibly devoted, fearless and highly professional and in the same time impossibly immature and conflicted "evil" army of Gru minions is THE greatest treasure of this movie. By looking at the cover of the DVD you can see some of them and frankly whoever conceived Gru minions was a world level genius. I do not want to provide spoilers, but believe me - they pack incredible fun! There is also at least one scene when their childlike devotion to their master almost made me cry - before another outburst of laughter (including a lot of giggling) in the cinema took over...
I purposefully omitted in this review many characters and did not hint at most of the gags and scenes, to avoid spoilers and keep things short.
To conclude, this is a TREASURE OF A MOVIE. A thing to buy, watch, keep and re-watch on regular basis. And I ABSOLUTELY HOPE FOR A SEQUEL!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2011
This CGI animation is different and refreshing compared to 'cartoons' i have watched in the past, normally when I watch a comedy, there's a scene that makes me laugh out loud, this film had TONS of it!! I was in stitches. not to mention its charming and perfect for a family get together
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2011
I'm not normally a person who will sit down and watch animation, except tom and jerry, but when i saw this i laughed all the way thru, and yes some gags may have seemed old, like the photcopying butt scene, but it was still funny in the way it were portrayed by the yellow minions.
This is a film not just for kids but for adults too, i say sit together as a family and watch it, it is funny.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2011
I watched this film on the flight back to the UK from Australia and couldn't believe that I hadn't given it the time of day before this. I laughed throughout. It is really cute and has a great storyline to add to the overall movie. The minions are the funniest part of it and I cannot recommend this film enough. Its a must see for adults and children. Hope you enjoy!
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2011
I have watched every big cartoon film for the last 25 years ( foster carer ) and this is without doubt the funniest, best story line and best produced to date . Any cartoons after this will have to be something truly special to even come close!!!
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2011
Not one for controversy, but Shrek... who? Toy Story... yawn.
Being a man of a certain age and having too many children aged between 5 and 22, I tend to measure the success (or otherwise) of films by the number of times it's referenced by the younger members of the household and how certain lines have become a part of everyday conversations... and this one has already taken a spot in the top 10.
It has everything: great main 'evil' character, Gru (Steve Carell), kids with attitude (the smallest, Agnes, is terminally cute - check out her cheek drums and her reaction to losing her toy unicorn to a wayward laser), hilarious 'Baddie' (and probably most quotable character)- Vector (voiced by the brilliant Jason Segel), an out-of-character but nonetheless entertaining Russell Brand as a senile, almost deaf, mad scientist. Even the small part played by Julie Andrews (as Gru's mum) is worthy of mention (behind every evil supervillain, there's a mother who... well, let's just say she wouldn't be selected to play the part of a singing nun!)... and yes, there are the minions. One of the funniest and most original animated characters I've ever seen (and who ever thought of the individual names is a genius!).
A final thought (Light Bulb!) - what happened to the merchandising? As far as I can tell, there're a few over-priced minions available and very little else. Lego versions of Gru's house, car and aircraft along with mini Lego minions? Or how about Vector's house with its shark tank?
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2011
Hello,my name is milena.I am 9 years old.This film is very good, and enjoyable.I would give it 4/5, because it might be to scary for younger children.But,if you tell them it's not scary,it should be fine.If you would like to buy this film,read the comments,and you will see that many people give it 4/5 or 5/5.I hope that when you buy it you will realy like it.Blu-ray is also very good, so you can buy it,if you want to have it, but in a better version!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2011
I watched this last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I won't bore you with the details of the plot, suffice to say it runs along with never a dull moment. I chuckled a lot, and laughed out loud twice, this may not sound a lot, but believe me I'm hard to please. Apart from Gru himself, I particularly liked the characters of Gru's mother and Vector. I think this film will definitely appeal to children of all ages. I put it on a par with The Invincibles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2011
My wife and I saw this in theaters in 3D at first and were instantly hooked by the combination of Gru's humor, the cuteness of the three little girls, the fantastic soundtrack (by Pharrell from N*E*R*D by the way) and of course all the minions. After the movie we couldn't help but think, talk and laugh about some of the scenes in this movie.
Since I'm a Blu-ray collector and besides that always like the bonus features on the Blu-ray, this was practically a no-brainer. Normally I find it hard to compare any animation at all the works of Pixar, since those always have a certain near-perfect combination between characters, world, story and viewability for all ages. Most other animations lack at least one of those ingredients, but not Despicable Me.
Truly amazing and very funny movie which is a must see for not only every kid, but also every adult that likes animation. In both cases it won't be a dissappointment.
Only bad thing is that I cannot use the iTunes digital play, since I'm not a UK resident (The Netherlands). That's a pity, but I bought it for the Blu-ray in the first place and I can always rip the dvd into an iTunes format if I really want too. Too bad the film studio just did not think about this when they restricted it to UK only.