I thought I repost the original review I wrote of the first ‘Despicable Me’ movie two years ago. Just so you can see how much I loved that one.
I took the kids today and we watched ‘Despicable me’ in our local movie theater. Let me tell you, the movie is delightful. Go and see it.
I will not give away much the story, however I will tell you why I liked it so much. (Apart from the fact that one of the characters does the nerdfighter salute.)
Just know that it is a villain turns good guy with the help of kids type movie.
One of the first things that stands out, is that ordinary people in this film look like ordinary people. They come in all shapes and sizes. Well, mostly supersized sizes to be exact. They are depicted as just as silly, bored, annoyed or passive aggressive as you see them in everyday life. They are not well proportioned and standardized people, they are characters.
There is one scene, where moms wait while their little girls have ballet lessons. It was so spot on, it was scary.
Also, there is not really a clear distinction between good and evil. Almost all the villains (Gru, the main character; Vector, his opponent and Ms Hattie, the proprietor of the orphanage) have redeeming qualities, or at least a righteous comeuppance to their name.
They also don’t all look like villains either. Ms Hattie looks like she could be Dolores Umbridge’s little sister in her pink sweater and pink plait skirt. (If you do not know who Dolores Umbridge is, please go read Harry Potter.)
Another refreshing attitude of the movie is, that nobody cares to base it anyhow in reality. There are some villains out and about in humongous contraptions that tear up parts of the neighborhood on a regular basis and nobody minds. There are millions of minions running around that look like a mix of Mr. Peanut and Spongebob and everyone thinks they are perfectly normal. (You do know Mr. Peanut and Spongebob? Yes? Good!)
A rocket launches out of the Gru’s house and the Ned Flanders like neighbor just takes a little break from waxing his car. (And if you do not know who Ned Flanders is, then you have lived the last 30 years under a rock and I cannot help you.)
In conclusion, this movie works on many levels. It has some grown-up themes like abandonment issues and sense of belonging in it. However those do not interrupt the fun romp that ensues on the screen. My kids laughed out loud several times during the movie and shared their enjoyment with me. As for jokes only grown-ups understand, there was exactly one and that one was well worth it.
Once ‘Despicable me’ comes out on DVD, I will buy it and put it on the shelf between ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Up’.