Despicable Me, a lovely title in my humble opinion. A title that doesn’t quite fit the tone of the film but is relevant enough to the movie itself that it works. I went off to watch it with some of my friends a yesterday hoping that I’d see a duel between two mad scientists in spite of the fact that I knew it was a family movie. My hopes were let down on that part however as it really did turn out to be a straight out family movie. I was really hoping to see a good loon in this movie too.
The story is about this supposedly world class villain named Gru voiced by Steve Carell who plots to pull off the crime of the century after having been one-upped by a newcomer in the supervillain business. I mean his character by the way but it would be interesting to see Steve Carell pursue a carreer in supervillainy. Anyways, his plan entails a shrink ray, a rocket ship, the moon and a bank loan from what’s obviously a shout out to the now defunct bank ran by the Lehman brothers. A problem arises when the new villain in the orange jumpsuit who goes by the name of Vector makes off with the guy’s newly stolen shrink ray and after having failed to retrieve the gun by himself, he adopts three little girls who hold the key to infiltrating vectors lair – cookies!
If you’re old enough to have sat through your fair share of parent rising to the occasion stories then you know what’s going to happen in the end. I certainly saw the plot move just as planned many times before but Gru handled the usual tropes so predictably that I was actual surprised at how normal they made his character. Sure, he treated everyone else like the villain he was known to be but he was totally an average joe when it came to the girls. Though that may be, this actually made the movie so much sweeter than I thought it would be. Chances are this movie is going to end up listed in the sugarwiki page of TvTropes because of that.
Plot and characterization aside, everything else exceeded my expectations. The music alone just blew me away in the first few minutes and several times again later in the movie. It was only at the end that I understood just why exactly the composition managed to do that – they put Hans Zimmer in charge of the sounds. They hired the guy who composed music for movies like the Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes and the Pirates of the Caribbean for an animated family movie of all things. It was certainly a strange movie to hear some of the best stuff he’s come with so far. Seriously, how did they get him to do this in the first place? Then there’s the cinematography they used in the movie. The director used a lot of interesting “camera angles” to show off the scenes. They used angles that I firmly believe that other works could have benefited from greatly. All these amazing visual and audio work actually added a lot to the already clever jokes they put in and made the movie a much a stronger work than it would have been otherwise. In fact, the movie’s show of technique itself in is a good enough reason to go and watch this movie.
With all that’s been said, Despicable Me is a pleasant family film however predictable may be. There’s a lot of room in the story for them to follow things up with sequels and the movie itself is endearing enough for you to want to watch more. Hopefully they’ll improve the plot for the next one and remember to keep the floating henchman as a brick joke any sequels they come up with. Come back around tomorrow for my review of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”, which also happens to have had their music composed by Hans Zimmer, which also makes his work on this movie even stranger since Inception’s tracks didn’t really grab me.
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