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    July 24, 2010


    DESPICABLE ME (English/U)
    Genre: Animation/Family
    Release Date: 08 July 2010
    Distributor: Universal Pictures
    Running Time: 95 minutes
    Director: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
    Producers: John Cohen, Janet Healy, Chris Meledandri
    Writers: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul
    Casts: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrew, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig
    Plot: In a happy suburban neighbourhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by a small army of minions, Gru (Steve Carell) is planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon! Until, he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad. The world's greatest villain has just met his greatest challenge: three little girls named Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher).

    Following DreamWorks' foot-step when they made How To Train Your Dragon, this Universal's bold effort to try the same closer formula pays off quite well. The result, Despicable Me is not your normal cartoon that makes your brain freezes but instead taking over the edge of its own comfort zone, challenging the taste of simple dark humor and feel good aura around it. Fortunate enough, Despicable Me is an enjoyable movie after all despite some fallouts here and there. Read on to know why.

    Despicable Me elaborates the life of Gru, thought to be the number one super-villain in the world. However, his reputation is on the jeopardy following the theft of the Great Pyramid of Giza by an anonymous thief, while his career is on the decline route. In order to get his reputation back, he came out on a plan to steal the moon. He tried to get a loan from the local Bank of Evil but got his offer turned down unless he managed to obtain the shrink ray. He met a new and younger super-villain Vector who was revealed as the one who stole the Great Pyramid. Thus, the rivalry between the two began as each coming steps closer to the moon. In the meantime, Gru tasted what it was like to be a father to his three orphan daughters.

    Despicable Me is a surprisingly feel good animation. It begins with the real deal about how cool been a super-villain. Well, who says that a superhero is the only person we ever cared for? Now we don't have to say that all the time simply because Universal has brought a different approach on how we look at villains. It is fortunate enough that not only this movie is boasted by the interesting voice casting behind it, but it mashes some witty dark humor, darned cuteness and energetic adventure into a single piece of good popcorn entertainment. There is no doubt that there are elements borrowed from Pixar - especially the ability of creating an emotional touch at few points and DreamWorks' - the ability to create a story with adventures that are so exploitive. 

    Despicable Me can be considered fortunate enough to let itself flourished with something humor and sweet. The plot isn't its strongest note, but do bear in mind that the characters are. The movie does not sell effectively if we want to talk from the story point of view. While it satisfies the core interest, at times it can wind up as a bit sloppy and predictable movie. Perhaps, the same middling taste of formulaic kids movie is so strong that it is kind of hard to differentiate it with other good animations. Running gags aren't clear and inconsistent. While the idea of whole story works, but the instinct hits me that they could have done better. The movie is not a perfect one but it illustrates its own entertainment value here.

    Of course, the main saviour has to come in the forms of characters. The two characters that made so much differences for this movie were Agnes and the minions. It was darn cuteness that makes the most for this. Well, it's so fluffy that I can just die like that. Gru's weird accent is something I thought annoying although I won't care much about that. Simply it has done more than enough that the casts have done so well in blending emotion genuineness into the story. That's where Pixar comes in! Coupled with a funky musical theme with Pharell William in it, the despicable feeling lingers.

    In a nutshell, Despicable Me is an enjoyable animation perfectly timed when Shrek did not show its own excitement. It's not a perfect animation, but the elements it tries to obtain from Pixar or some good DreamWorks' animation is a good effort into making this been so despicable. The story did not win all but the characters did. Again, the 3D is just a gimmick fun for the roller coaster riddance but it wasn't that bad. Did Despicable Me did better than Shrek? Yes. Did Despicable Me did better than How To Train Your Dragon? Hell no!! GOOD POPCORN MOVIE!!
    (image sources: IGN)

    Story - 3.5 stars
    Casts - 4.0 stars
    Cinematography - 3.5 stars
    Effects - 3.5 stars
    OVERALL - 3.5 stars
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