Despicable Me (U)

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Review byMatthew Turner13/10/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Despicable Me is a watchable animated comedy with a couple of nice ideas and at least one adorable supporting character but it's also unambitious, surprisingly dull in places, depressingly low on decent laughs and ultimately let down by a lazy central performance from Steve Carell.

What's it all about?
Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, Despicable Me stars Steve Carell as Gru, an inexplicably Russian-accented supervillain whose plans to steal a pyramid are frustrated when his arch rival Vector (Jason Segel) gets there first. Gru's new plan is to shrink and steal the moon, but when Vector pinches the shrink ray he needs to complete his scheme, Gru tries to break into his rival's headquarters, only to be repelled by a series of state-of-the-art security systems.

When Gru spots three young orphan girls (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaiera and Elsie Fisher) gaining easy access to Vector's lair by selling Girl Scout Cookies, he immediately adopts them and then uses them to plant a series of robot cookies that enable him to successfully steal back the shrink ray. However, despite the best babysitting abilities of his army of tiny yellow Minions, Gru quickly finds that his new-found parental responsibilities rather get in the way of his plans for moon-based thievery.

The Good
Elsie Fisher’s performance as Agnes (the youngest of the three girls) is delightful – the scene where she reacts to Gru winning her a stuffed unicorn at a fair (“IT'S SO FLUFFY! I'M GONNA DIE!”) is the film's undisputed highlight and pretty much guarantees that you'll be doing Agnes impressions both on the way home and for weeks afterwards.

The film also has some nice ideas and some appealing designs but it never equals the headquarters-storming sequence for wit or invention and if you've seen the trailer you've already seen that entire sequence.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is the script, which is frustratingly low on both laughs and plot – it's also unforgivably dull in places. A large part of this is down to the fact that the film's central character just isn't very funny – Carell is a talented comic performer but he fails to bring Gru to life (the Russian accent doesn't help) and delivers a lazy, uninspired performance that ultimately scuppers the film.

Worth seeing?
Despite some nice ideas and Fisher’s wonderful supporting performance, Despicable Me is ultimately something of a disappointment, thanks to a lazy script that fails to deliver any decent laughs.

Film Trailer

Despicable Me (U)
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Content updated: 21/07/2018 01:04

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