Quick Hit: This premiere from Illumination studios is a solid performer.
Hello and welcome to Trilogies Month here at DoubleFeaturePreachers. We’ll be covering a different trilogy (all of them recent) each week leading up to the Oscars nominations later this month. We figured it was a nice, easy way to watch some movies prior to the big Oscar movie month here at DoubleFeaturePreachers. Without further ado, let’s start with the first set of movies, the Despicable Me series.
Lots of animation companies attempt to copy Pixar. Illumination studios is really no different. When you look at the focus on family, the plucky heroes, and the extreme attention to detail, it’s blatantly a rip off of what Pixar does best. Even the world of Despicable Me, which feels a bit like the reverse side of The Incredibles, with the villains taking center stage. However, what follows, despite being extremely familiar, is a solid movie that takes the more interesting characters in most stories (the villains) and puts them centerfold.
I don’t really feel a need to go into the plot for this one, because it’s been around a while.
Gru is voiced by Steve Carrell. He puts on a really strange accent, because he’s Steve Carrell. Honestly, the first time I watched the movie, I didn’t like it. But I have kids, so I’ve watched the movie multiple times, and the voice itself grew on me quite a bit. Jason Segel, who plays Vector, is probably the highlight as far as voice actors, despite the fact that most of his lines consist of “Oh Yeah”. The character just seems more real than a lot of the other characters, because it feels like Segel was just like, what would I do as a supervillain. Oh ya, this – and it became part of the movie.
While the plot is fairly generic – bad guy discovers his good side due to a family – the film takes a while to get there, and is much better for it. Gru is fleshed out, sometimes in flashbacks, but more often by just his interactions with other characters. I particularly liked the interactions with his minions, which all have a name. This is before the series got carried away with them as merchandising fodder, and they were instead helpful to move the story forward. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
All told, the movie isn’t going to blow most people away. But it’s solid entertainment for kids, and most adults won’t mind it either. I’m giving it a “B”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"