By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Despicable Me is not one of the great animated movies. It’s probably fine to entertain kids, but this will be a tough one for parents.
Review: Despicable Me
It actually feels like the invention of a machine. All the elements are there but there’s no inspiration. It takes so long to produce animation, you’d think there has to be more motivation than just getting by and making basic kid movie money.
Despicable Me just rips off other things, and badly. The three orphan girls are living in an Annie knock-off, and they even reference Annie later but it doesn’t even seem like they’re aware that it ripped off the same movie earlier in the film. The minions are cute in a knockoff of the Toy Story green aliens kind of way.
The evil inventions and gadgets aren’t even that cool. They’re just big and loud. I would think kids won’t care about the references: The Jumbotron, Vegas, saying “That’s how I roll.” Adults will think, “That’s all you’ve got for us?”
Actually, the worst thing about the movie is the musical score. The fast bouncy music is obnoxious. So the whole movie is automatically working against this assault of noise. The decision to give the main characters eastern European accents makes them more annoying too.
The smallest little girl, Agnes, is sweet. There would be something in the mad scientist using his evil inventions to do good. It’s just basic emotion but it would be something. Despicable Me isn’t about that though. It’s about silly scheming and shenanigans.
It’s funny, I’ll take generic action. You can give me buddy cops or Die Hard in an anything and it’s good enough. Generic animation is tough to handle though. At least this will teach kids a big word. They’ll have to look up “despicable” but it’s a good one to know.