Wednesday, December 15, 2010

639 - Despicable Me review

It’s rather fashionable now to treat comic book material in an ironic fashion, drawing attention to the many outlandish conventions and archetypes. “Despicable Me” is just about the latest screen example of this (the true latest being “Megamind”), though all this irony comes at the cost of wit or the ability to successfully draw upon the strengths of the tradition. Comic book villains might seem (and be) silly, but the good antagonists have motivation, the foundation of character. In “The Incredibles,” a wonderful example of this new subgenre, the villain wanted to be a legendary superhero. The villainous Gru (voice of Steve Carrell), on the other hand, wants to steal the moon because…well, just because, though half-hearted allusions to his mother’s approval are made. He comes to adore the three girls he adopted to steal a shrink-ray because…they had a fun day at an amusement park. There’s too much just ‘cause here, and not enough reason for us to devote our concern to what happens. It has some laughs, though they’re more cute than clever. And I doubt I'm the only one who noticed that for all the talk about super-villany, there's only two villains, Gru and his rival, and no superheroes, which seems a bit lazy for a film like this.

2.5 out of 5

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