August Issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | Published 14 years ago

The latest in an exciting variety of 3D-animated movies is Despicable Me. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, the movie boasts a star cast featuring the voices of Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Will Arnett, Julie Andrews and Russell Brand.

Gru (Carrell), who lives in a dingy, black house with his army of genetically modified minions and assistant, Dr Nefario (Brand), considers himself the most successful super villain of all time. One day it is discovered that one of the Great Pyramids of Giza has been stolen and replaced with an inflatable replica. Shocked by the audacity of someone else to carry out an act more evil than any of his own, Gru formulates a plan which cannot be topped by anyone else: to steal the moon. To finance his venture, he approaches the Bank of Evil for a loan, but is refused until he can obtain a shrink ray device necessary to carry out his scheme. It is here that he meets his nemesis, Vector (Segel), who turns out to be the mastermind behind the pyramid theft, and, ironically, also requires the apparatus for his next evil venture.

After several attempts by both parties to get a hold of the device, Vector succeeds; subsequently Gru devises a plan to get into Vector’s home. After seeing three orphan girls going into his opponent’s home, Gru decides to adopt them to help him do the same, but what he doesn’t realise is that being a parent entails a lot more than he’d bargained for. The children, who he initially despised, slowly gain access to the softer side of his heart.

With the expected twists and turns, Gru faces challenges in carrying out his evil scheme — including personal conflicts within himself that make him question the nature of his malevolent plan.

Steve Carrell, known for his lead role in the American sitcom The Office, is hardly recognisable with his heavy Russian accent. Hilarious and entertaining as usual, he is, without a doubt, the star of the show. However, Gru would have flourished more as a character had Carrell dropped the fake accent entirely. Jason Segel, too, does a brilliant job as the voice of the kooky and geeky villain, Vector. It is particularly amusing and enjoyable to imagine a tall and rather bulky Segel when his character bursts into one of his idiosyncratic dances at various points in the movie. The animation is comparable to that of The Incredibles and Ice Age.

Despicable Me may not be as witty and humorous as movies such as Shrek and Madagascar, but it promises an evening well spent. However, to be enjoyed to its maximum, Karachiites will have to wait for a 3D cinema to open in the city.