Mini-Review of Despicable Me

In keeping with my trend of reviewing movies weeks after their initial release, here are my thoughts on one of this summer's CGI cartoon releases, Despicable Me. I had some hesitations going into this movie, because all of the previews made it appear that the plot of Despicable Me was yet another one of those young-waifs-melt-the-heart-of-a-chronic-scrooge-making-him/her-a-lovable-softie exercises that Hollywood loves to churn out to earn a quick buck from the PG-rated crowd. It turned out that I was right--that is the basic plot of Despicable Me. Yet what I wasn't expecting was to see this plot fueled by a series of sight gags and absurd comic sequences that riotously send up the cinematic staples of mad scientists and James Bond-esque megalomaniacal villains. Indeed, if you like your scientists crazy and your villains gadget-savvy and globe-trotting, then Despicable Me is the summer comedy for you. Also worthy of note is that the humor in Despicable Me successfully evokes the oddball, madcap spirit of Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes shorts from the golden age of cinema, a feat I haven't seen in a feature-length cartoon since Disney's The Emperor's New Groove.

That said, I don't care what Roger Ebert says--if you decide to see Despicable Me, be sure to see it in 3-D. There are several scenes (especially those in the end credits) that aren't nearly as effective in 2-D as they are in 3-D. You've been warned.


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