Despicable Me


Quirky animation with the voice of Steve Carell Discuss this article

What if supervillains lived among us? That’s the question posed by this fitfully amusing animated feature, which follows a hulking, Lugosi-accented baddie named Gru (Steve Carell) as he tries to steal the moon (yes, the moon). Gru is the kind of guy who’ll make a balloon animal to soothe a crying child – and then pop it. But his malicious genius is barely in demand, thanks to Vector (Jason Segel), who’s stolen the Great Pyramid of Giza and hidden it in his backyard.

Vector also has a shrink ray that Gru needs to pinch so he can get a scheme-funding loan from the Bank of Evil (‘formerly Lehman Brothers’ – the film’s best joke). What better way to make his nemesis lower his guard than with a doe-eyed trio of cookie-selling orphans?

The setup is pure Looney Tunes, and Despicable Me is at its best when trading in anything-for-a-laugh prankery. Gru’s yellow, gibberish-spouting minions are the most reliable chuckle-generators: one of them is the subject of a glow-stick gag that should make even the grumpiest audience member laugh out loud. And there are some terrific throwaway rib-ticklers, such as Vector’s hilariously useless ‘piranha gun’ and the Bank of Evil’s crush-the-little-man decor.

But sentiment soon overwhelms the subversiveness, as Gru learns that being a family guy is preferable to world domination. The more the character loses his antisocial edge, the more he becomes a Disneyfied dullard. Still, let’s see Aladdin get down to the Bee Gees.

By Keith Uhlich
Time Out Doha,

Despicable Me

  • Duration: 95
  • Released: Thu, 15 Jul
  • Classification: G
  • Language: English
  • Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
  • Stars: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher,

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Our favourite features