Review: Despicable Me (2010 movie)

The premise of this film doesn’t sound very appealing: A supervillain’s heart is changed when he adopts three adorable little girls. Gack. But amazingly, it turns out to be a real delight.

This is a very international production, written by Spaniards and computer-animated in France under the supervision of a pair of French directors (who also voice the villain’s small, more-or-less-cylindrical, vaguely alien “minions”). The English-language voice cast features among others Steve Carrell, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, and Kristen Wiig (none of whose voices are recognizable).

Supervillain Gru finds himself in competition with a new would-be criminal mastermind, a nerdy young guy who calls himself “Vector” and looks like a young Bill Gates in a warm-up suit. While he seems incompetent — for some reason he’s enamored of guns that shoot forms of aquatic life — his lair proves impenetrable despite Gru’s best efforts. Then Gru sees some little girls selling cookies to raise money for their orphanage easily gain admittance, so he arranges to adopt the girls and use them to help him get inside. Meanwhile Gru is having trouble with his bank (The Bank of Evil, “formerly Lehman Brothers”), and this gets in the way of his master plan to steal the Moon and hold it for ransom.

It’s a great deal of fun with appealing characters. And like me, it’s fluffy.

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