Absolutely Despicable

Joan Morrissey finds hidden depths – and great 3D! – in Despicable Me

Despicable Me ©Universal Pictures

World domination is not enough in Despicable Me: these lunatics want the moon! Dr. Gru plans to steal the moon, committing the crime of the century. Back-up? Minions resembling yellow tic-tacs, and a scientist oblivious of the environmental ramifications of stealing the moon. Smart. Motive? These egomaniacs want notoriety fuelled by personal insecurity.

The characters in Despicable Me are all motivated by trying to acquire the love of a parent and are seeking love and affirmation. The head-mistress is easily manipulated. Her professional integrity is compromised by one man’s flattery, and the liability of young girls approaching strange houses by themselves is not an issue.

So the three very sweet, independent orphan girls whom Gru impulsively, and easily, adopts, also conveniently have

Despicable Me 2 -

savings. They support the moon kidnap, and produce a piggy-bank with three hearts (aww). Straight from the cruel orphanage, these girls are somehow not needy, don’t have abandonment issues, and possess the generosity and trust to give their savings to someone they just met. Well, there’s a smart lesson to teach impressionable young children…

Psychology drives this rather intricate kids’ movie movie forward, as everyone is looking for affirmation. The key characters are weak-willed and insecure, and our hardcore villain is open to persuasion about stuffed unicorns. For orphans in loveless care, they are surprisingly demanding in requesting bedtime stories.

An annoying aspect of this movie is the physical impossibility of some scenes in this movie. Now I know it’s not real, but I implore, where is the realism even implied? The baddies have high-tech security gadgets, but when deployed inflict only superficial injuries – never mind the environmental effects that shrinking the moon and putting it into your pocket would have.

Despicable Me ©Universal Pictures

This film annoyed me while I was watching it, but my eyes were moistened by the end even with its overblown sentiment. It’s predictable and formulaic, but children will love it. The 3D, however, is fantastic – check out the rollercoaster ride! Sadly, like any children’s story, Gru turns from bad to good. It may not be a popular opinion, but Despicable Me was good – not great. It has to be said – Gru and Co. annoyed me: despicable he? Nope, more like despicable me.

Originally published in the 23/11/2010 edition of the UCC Express

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