Silver Chips Online

"Despicable Me," exceptional glee

Highly anticipated animation proves to be wholesome summer fun

By Allison Daitch, Online Managing Editor
July 12, 2010
It's Steve Carell's magic - everything he touches turns to gold, and his newest movie "Despicable Me" only confirms this theory. With well-known stars, adorable children and lovable minions, "Despicable Me" is a can't-miss comedy great for all ages.

Despicable Me

(released July 09, 2010)
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Chips Rating:
4 stars
PG
User Rating:
2 stars Votes: 17
The villain Gru is on a mission to steal the moon in the animated feature film starring comedy experts Steve Carell, Jason Segal and Russell Brand.
The story begins with Gru (Steve Carell), a moderately successful villain who strives to become the greatest villain of all time. Gru has a looming fear of becoming outdated and replaced by younger villains such as Vector (Jason Segel), so to ensure his rightful title, Gru develops a plan to steal the moon. Gru’s plot requires him to adopt three young orphans to help steal a shrink-ray with which they can shrink the moon. Throughout the movie, Gru has difficulty managing his two worlds - his villain world, filled with evil characters such as Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his Minions, and his newly discovered parenting world, dominated by Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Gru's evil quest, hindered by constant obstacles, and his attempt to find a balance between his nefarious and nurturing sides come together to create an entertaining and playful movie.

Although it is worrisome to picture a Steve Carell movie without his trademark facial expressions and familiar voice, Carell still manages to make his character shine. Gru's wicked Eastern European accent is jarring at first - after all, it sounds so unlike Carell - but it slowly grows on the audience. Once viewers warm up to the accent, it is easy to see the humorous and unique character that Carell creates.

Other actors also succeed in formulating the perfect voices for their characters from the start. Comedian Brand unexpectedly transforms his voice into that of a spacey, elderly British scientist, and Fisher becomes one of the gems of the movie by simply portraying an adorable and spunky little girl.

But the most notable highlight of the movie has to be the delightful Minions, Gru's army of little yellow helpers. From their cute, stumpy bodies and comical voices to their amusing slapstick comedy, these lovable creations provide countless giggles and are simply a hoot to watch.

In addition to the joyful Minions, the movie's graphics are notable and surprisingly pleasing. Although the animations can't compete with Pixar’s, the small details such as the shadows, the reflections in the metal on cars and the overall visual effect are entertaining and satisfying. On a larger graphic scale, the action-packed scenes appear vibrant and crystal-clear. Even without the popping effects of 3D, the action is fun to watch. The movements are clean and ultra-realistic when needed; for example, a roller coaster scene actually gives the sickening drop-in-your-stomach feeling of being on a real coaster.

The soundtrack adds even more variety to the movie, just one more aspect that helps it to appeal to all audiences. Ranging from pop to disco to a personalized hip-hop song by Pharrell called "Despicable Me," the music is nicely interlaced throughout the movie and adds to the mood of each scene.

Although the promotion for "Despicable Me" was at times overwhelming, a new technology was tested with this movie and is paving the way for the future. "Despicable Me" is the first movie to feature a cinema translator by Best Buy. The Best Buy Movie Mode is a free mobile app that translates what the adorable Minions are saying during the credits - a lure to keep the audience in the theater till the very end and then talking it up afterwards. This gimmick is surely only the beginning of what's to come in the "apps for movies" market.

"Despicable Me" is not just another villain movie or just another animated comedy. It's a movie where no joke falls flat, a movie that introduces the most lovable characters of the year. A movie that has tons of laughs to go with terrific actors and unique characters that is great fun no matter what your age is.

"Despicable Me" is rated PG for rude humor and mild action and is now playing in theaters everywhere.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10211