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McCoy on Movies: "Despicable Me" Movie Review

McCoy on Movies: "Despicable Me" Movie Review
Toy Story 3 may be the animated king of the box office this summer, but what about the film with little yellow minions aplenty? Check out our reviewer’s take of "Despicable Me" here!

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KEY CAST MEMBERS: Steve Carell, JasonSegel, Russell Brand, Kristen Wiig, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, MirandaCosgrove, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Jack McBrayer and Julie Andrews 

WRITERS: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio; based on a story by Sergio Pablos 

DIRECTOR: Chris Renaud and PierreCoffin 


THE PLOT: A film that beats the upcoming Will Ferrell-helmedMegamind into theathers in the "let's focus on the animatedsupervillian" genre, Despicable Me stars Steve Carell as the voice ofGru. A supervillian by trade, Gru, his mad scientist assistant Dr. Nefario(a very well camoflauged Russell Brand) and his army of little yellow oneand two-eyed minions (all voiced by Pierre Coffin except for two voiced byco-director Chris Renaud and Jemaine Clement of Flight of theConchords fame) have a plan that they are sure will push them to the topof the underworld: Stealing the moon.


 There's just two little problems standing in their way: [1] Mr. Perkins(voiced by Will Arnett), the head of The Bank of Evil (formerly LehmanBrothers) that funds all his projects won't give him a loan and [2] isdeciding to back Gru's new, younger rival criminal Vector (voiced by JasonSegel). 


Seemingly down and out trying to find a way to inflitrate Vector's compound,Gru gets an idea when he sees Agnes (Elsie Fisher), Edith (Dana Gaier) andMargo (Miranda Cosgrove) - three little orphan girls from whom his rival isbuying cookies. Adopting the girls from Ms. Hattie (voiced by Kristen Wiig),Gru devises a scheme to use the girls as a distraction to get the covetedshrink ray he needs from Vector to complete his plan. If Gru is lucky, hemight just finally impress his mother (voiced by Julie Andrews), too. 


But what happens when Gru finds out that being a parent - evil or otherwise- isn't what he expected? You'll have to see the movie to find out!


THE TAKE: If nothing else, I can say this about Despicable Me:I want a minion in real life so bad after seeing this movie - and given howentertaining, dare I say "cute" the film is as a whole, I suspect I will notbe alone in that sentiment. To use another analogy, if Toy Story 3 isthe Mercedes of this summer's animated offerings thus far as it offers acomplete fit, finish and overall experience, Despicable Me is a MiniCooper - compact, quirky and fun to drive around even if it doesn't have theoverall horsepower or quality of its larger, more established rival.


Other than the minions (which are really the best thing about the movie byfar), the other thing that makes Despicable Me not desipcable towatch is its overall light-hearted nature. From whimisical little jokes togood-natured characters and a fine voice performance as a whole by the cast,the film - while not mindless entertainment - is effective in accomplishingon what it sets out to deliver: Engaging, entertaining entertainment that isnot so juvenile or sappy that adults can't enjoy it and not so complex thatchildren can't, either. The story takes enough twists and turns to keep itfrom being totally predictable and the performances help breathe life intoeach character, giving them their own needed nuances effectively.


Viewers will also be pleasantly surprised to discover that DespicableMe, unlike a lot of films trying to make extra $$$ by capitalizing onthe current trend, actually benefits from the use of RealD 3D. Co-directorsChris Renaud and Pierre Coffin do a good job of mixing in the 3D so itactually adds to the experience rather than trying to be theexperience of the film itself. (The credits also play with the notion of 3Dthat is as entertaining as the film and definitely worth sticking aroundfor.)


I hate to stress/abuse the word "cute," but it really does sum up the filmquite well - and since when has being cute been a bad thing? It's certainlynot despicable ... But Despicable Me truly is. 


RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

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PHOTO CREDITS
Credit: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment / © 2010 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Tabari McCoy -

Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. You can check out more of his work on his blog at McCoyonMovies.BlogSpot.com and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy

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