Sunday, 28 November 2010

Despicable Me Film Review

When I first saw the trailer, I wasn't really excited for it. Very few animations apart from Pixar catch my attention, so it was a surprise to hear one of my friends declare this better than Pixar's "UP". Keeping an open mind, I decided to sit through this one and I was pleasantly surprised.

Gru is an evil villain. Upon hearing that rival villain Vector stole a Giza Pyramid and was titled "Villain of the Century" by the news, Gru sets his mind on stealing the moon with the help of a Shrink Ray. Unfortunately, Vector steals it from him seconds after he stole it and Gru's feeble attempts of entering Vector's fortress left him emptihanded. 
Witnessing Vector's weak spot of coconut cookies, Gru adopts three children which he enropes into his masterplan, which to begin with he finds a distraction and a nuisance, but soon realises he has a soft spot for them in his heart.

Animations with super cool inventions really tempt me. I love the imagination involved. I mean, doesn't every child imagine crazy machines and technology that do funky things? Much like "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs", a series of very useful devices were introduced. I'd very much like to own an ice gun.

Plot wise, I thought the children would've broken up the film judging from the trailer, but their incorporation is synonomous. Whilst at times, their relationship is slightly forced and cliched, they fit into the story well and they produced a few giggles. Though the real giggle inducers are the much advertised "Toy Story Three Alien" look a likes which are Gru's minions. They are so dynamic they really could have a film of their own. Their "Tom & Jerry" style interactions with each other make this film. I love the photocopying butt scene and the minion that gets sent off to outer space by the anti-gravity syrup who crops up every now and again.

The progression of the plot was also quite smooth and I liked the intersecting "fun" segments which develop Gru's character as he begins to discover his heart softening for the girls, though at first I thought the eldest one was a guy. Oops! I really liked the theme park scene: the on-ride segment tempts me to play Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 again. Eek!

The ending is somewhat climatic, though reminescent of "UP" and not as exciting. However, there is a potentially tear inducing scene at the end, only to be ruined by the cliched and far too often used "cringe feel good" dancing just before the credits roll. Though, make sure you sit through the credits, because there's more funny bits to come involving the minions! ;)

I was also quite impressed that they haven't forgotten their interior design. Vector's house is simply the epithomy of style- I love the floor aquarium with the shark, the white smooth curves of his house and the large screen TV he plays "Wii" on. Which brings me on to talk about product placement. Whilst not explicitly done, items similar to "Wii" and "Coco cola" were obviously on display, as well as another which I cannot remember at the moment. Hmm...

Steve Carell- Gru
Jason Segel- Vector
Russell Brand- Dr. Nefario
Julie Andrews- Gru's Mother

Despicable Me is a solid film with great colourful animations and good characterisation, though Vector is rather crude and cringeworthy. The plot is strong and executed with style- I love the inventions and the minions, though the children themselves aren't very likeable. Overall, it was an enjoyable film with a few genuine funny scenes, but fails to top recent Pixar releases in any way.

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