In a happy suburban neighborhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbors, hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by a small army of minions, we discover Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon (Yes, the moon!) in Universal’s new 3-D CGI feature, “Despicable Me.”
Gru delights in all things wicked. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battle-ready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who look at him and 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, Edith and Agnes.
This is an extremely cute movie! It is imaginative and funny and features memorable characters. It also shows character growth as one main character in particular changes by film’s end. It does include some animated violence but nothing very graphic and almost all of it is set in a fantastic make-believe world. This is the reason for our twelve plus Dove Seal, along with our “other” category rating a two, but after checking the content listing, some parents will be fine with their children under twelve watching it. There were some young kids at the screening I attended and none of them seemed frightened. In fact, most of them seemed delighted with the on-screen happenings. Steve Carell does a great job as the main character, Gru. His voice and comedic talents are on display in this one.
The story in a nutshell is this: Gru plans to steal a fantastic shrinker device from a company called Vector, with the goal of traveling to the moon and shrinking it and holding it until his demands are met. He winds up adopting three orphan girls from Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls. His goal is to use them to infiltrate his enemy’s place, as his enemy buys cookies from the girls. Gru’s despicable, unfeeling ways are soon challenged as he can’t help but fall for the little tykes and their loving ways and big eyes. The themes of this film include the capacity for change, loyalty, and finding people to care about. There are a few scenes such as the one in which Gru bakes cookies for the girls and one of them is shaped like an outlined dead body on a city street, with a hole in it to boot. If this humor is offensive to some, keep in mind it is the exception and not the rule. There is a lot to like about this movie. The imagination can run wild while watching flights to the moon, incredible inventions, and the funny little yellow creatures which are always into something. It is a clever and imaginative movie.