Sunday, March 18, 2012
Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Starring Steve Carell, Jason Segal, and Russel Brand
Running time: 95 minutes
I originally saw Despicable Me in theaters with my three kids (ages 17, 15, and 12 at the time) when it was released. All three kids and I LOVED it. Since then, I have easily been entertained by this funny and sweet movie another ten to fifteen times. I'm not exaggerating.
A quick recap of the story: Gru (Steve Carell) is an evil villain who is feeling like his career might be on the downswing when someone begins stealing major world monuments and man-made wonders. Determined not to be outdone, he and his cohort, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) decide they will steal the moon. The problem is, to steal the moon, he needs a shrink ray - the only one of which known to exist, is in the hands of the new villain on the block, Vector (Jason Segal), who has an impenetrable fortress. But Gru is no dummy. He has a plan: adopt three cookie-selling orphans who have a delivery to make at Vector's compound and essentially walk right in with the aid of this innocent girls and his evil cookie robots. The plan works like a dream, but what he doesn't count on is growing to love the three orphan girls. That's right - Gru is a bad guy with a big ol' soft, squishy heart. Will the melting of his tough exterior spoil his ability to steal the moon? You gotta watch and see.
Despicable Me is a winner of a family movie for many reasons, but the biggest is Steve Carell, who plays Gru with what you think might be a Russian accent, and with that magical Steve Carell touch. You never really hate Gru - how can you? He drives a funny car and has strange little minions with names like Dave, Jerry, and Bob. And while you know this story will be predictable, that Gru will succumb to goodness and will exchange his role of evil villain for that of lovable father, it doesn't matter. The script, animation, and voice-over acting are so exceptional, that you're connected from the opening sequence to the very last scene.
The rating is PG for rude humor and mild action. I believe the rude humor cited must be the word "fart," which occurs in a particularly humorous scene when Gru tells this hard-at-hearing Dr. Nefario that he asked for a "dart gun" not a "fart gun." Of course, most kids love the word "fart" so if you're not bothered by it yourself, I think that's the extent of your rude humor. And the "mild action" is nothing disturbing, even to very young children.
Fun, fun, fun, and more fun, is how I would describe Despicable Me, so if you haven't seen it yet, get that DVD, rent it from Netflix, or see if you can find it on cable, because you and your kids won't be disappointed. Especially since they are coming out with a sequel July of 2013.
Reviewed by Karen Cantwell
Find Despicable Me on Netflix