Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Iím sitting in a sparsely populated theater with a few other 3D boycotters enjoying this movie ĎDespicable Meí since everybody else is in the adjacent theater was wearing the oversized sunglasses. Iím sorry but thanks to ĎThe Last Airbenderí, and even though Iím told the 3D in this movie is well done, I will be actively avoiding all 3D movies until ĎAvatar 2í is released. Anyways thereís a scene in this movie were Professor Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell, says something in Spanish, in the guise of a compliment, to the not so nice Orphanage director Miss Hattie (Kristen Wiig). A Mexican family in the back started laughing. A few scenes later when Miss Hattie shows up at the door with a Spanish / English dictionary and whacks Gru on the head with it, the Mexican family in the back laughs even harder. Hey, Illumination Entertainment, think maybe I wanna laugh at that joke too? Why do you have to punish me because I donít speak Spanish? Or speak it well because I do speak a little. Whatís up with that?

So someone has just pulled off the heist of the century and managed to steal one of the great Egyptian Pyramids. This person would not be noted super villain Gru. Once Gruís awful, awful mother (Julie Andrews) chastises him yet again for being a lousy villain, Gru knows he needs to pull the true heist of the century to put him back on top of the world of villainy. Gru, with the help of his trusted associate Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his legion of yellow jellybean looking minions is going to steal the moon. Silly perhaps, but thatís what he says heís going to do.

To make this happen Gru needs a bank loan. The Bank of Evil led by the evil Mr. Perkins (Will Arnett) is through funding Gruís plans because they just arenít paying off. That is unless he can acquire the Shrink Ray that is necessary to make this heist possible. Gru, being the smooth criminal that he is, steals this ray, but alas along the way he has upset his major competition in villainy, Vector (Jason Segal), who steals this much needed device away from him.

Now Gru needs to get it back or else he wonít get this loan to steal the moon. Say hello to orphan girls Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). These cute kids, rebuked earlier by Gru, have sold Vector some cookies. Knowing these cookies need to be delivered Gru adopts these kids because they will get him into Vectorís heavily protected lair and the Shrink Ray will be his.

Naturally Gru isnít exactly the ideal parent as he neglects these girls and restricts them from everything, but doggone it, they are adorable. Wouldnít you know it, despite the fact they are simply ruining everything, they are starting to melt his cold, cold heart. They are melting his heart to the point heís becoming distracted from the main task at hand, that being stealing the moon, and Dr. Nefario canít have that. Just when family love and unity was at its highest point, family love was snatched way, but with his girls in peril Gru will risk all, even his greatest achievement of villainy, to save them. Will he save them? Yes, yes he will. Totally. Spoiled it for you because Iím still upset at Illumination for not letting me in on the joke.

"Itís so Fluffy Iím Gonna Die!" and with that line as delivered by the completely adorable bubble eyed character Agnes longing for a stuffed unicorn, despite my best efforts to resist this movies light hearted, feather weighted charms, I was slain. Early on, this little animated childrenís film endeared itself to me because it was filled to the brim with jerks. Gru is a jerk, his dog is a jerk, VectorÖ jerk, Gruís momÖ jerk, the guy that runs the Bank of Evil (Formally Lehman Brothers - funny) is a jerk. And these jerks were funny, except the mom who was just plain mean, but we appreciated these jerks just like we also liked the whole villainy angle too. Villains just donít get enough love in movies, always portrayed as bad guys. Whatís up with that?

But then they introduced the super cute kids and a movie that was delightfully, if ever so slightly subversive turned sweet and sappy. And we fought against falling for their manipulative wide eyes and cute ballet uniforms and wanting to hear bedtime stories and whatnot. You know those things that little kidsÖ particularly girlsÖ tend to do... which is probably why the animators made these kids all girls. And we were doing good resisting this blatant manipulation until Agnes saw that cursed stuffed unicorn. I mean it was fluffy. I mean it was so fluffy that I could see why she would think sheíd die. It was that fluffy.

From that point on we were pretty much an emotional wreck hoping everything worked out for Gru and the girls that by the time Gru told his little unicorn story at the end, me an that Mexican family in the top row were passing handkerchiefs. Not that I was shedding a tear because I ainít no sissy, not the kid, but they were. As a testament to this movies hold on the kids, there was a two year old next to me yakking up a storm, that is until the movie started and it kept her non-stop mouth shut until the credits rolled. Well done.

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