Starring: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Running Time: 95 mins
Despicable Me is an American film about a supervillain who launches an audacious scheme to trump another local criminal mastermind. However, when he soon adopts three young girls, he finds that his growing affection for them is getting in the way of his evil plans.
This film is a lot of fun. It’s not necessarily a Pixar-level masterpiece, but as far as providing a bright, fast-paced and funny kids’ animation goes, Despicable Me does the job pretty well. Thanks to a zany animation style, brilliantly energetic voice performances and a generally upbeat atmosphere, it’s always a film that’ll put a smile on your face.
Let’s start off with what I thought really made this film, the voice performances. In the central role, Steve Carell is hilarious as Gru. With an over-exaggerated Russian accent, and his typically perfect comedic timing, he’s always huge fun, and sums up the film’s crazy atmosphere perfectly.
Alongside Carell, the likes of Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig and even Julie Andrews also defy expectations with some insanely weird and funny voice performances. In a film with crazy characters as far as the eye can see, the A-list cast always does a fantastic job to make the film’s comedy and action as bright and silly as possible, making it a joy to watch throughout.
Another thing that makes this film so much fun to watch is the animation style. Rather than attempting to push the boundaries of what animation can do, this film is confident in its delivery of a storybook-style adventure. In that, we’ve got characters, weapons, and locations of all shapes and sizes, adding to the film’s fun-loving vibes, whilst the consistent use of bright colours across the board gives it that bright, happy feeling to put a smile on your face.
As far as the story goes, it’s not quite as much fun as the rest of the film. Whilst it certainly starts off well, following Gru’s mad plans borne out of little more than jealousy, the plot hits a bit of a snag in its middle act as we see Gru get used to the three girls he’s adopted. It’s not boring, but the often repetitive humour in that part of the story doesn’t do much to make it as entertaining as it can be.
Finally, the film’s final act isn’t quite as emotionally captivating as it wants to be. A nice, happy and uplifting finale it may be, but I never quite got the heartwarming feeling as Gru begins to really care for his girls, as it comes off as a little forced to move the final act along as quickly as possible.
On the whole, Despicable Me is definitely a lot of fun. Its crazy vibes are emphasised brilliantly by zany animation, energetic voice performances and bright colours, and although its story doesn’t always manage to hit the right beats, it’s still a happy and entertaining watch throughout, which is why I’m giving it a 7.5.