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Movie Review: Despicable Me

The past few months has been, arguably, downright frustrating because of the half-baked sequels and unnecessary adaptations that only serve to prove that Hollywood is out of ideas. I mean, except for Inception - and probably Salt - it seems to me that the last vestige of original stories lies in animated films. Well, Despicable Me is a glaring example.

Sure, this film offered nothing new in terms of story and character development, and yes, the tale of rival villains wasn't terribly original nor was the idea of a villain having his heart melted by adorable children. But, the way Despicable Me blends these two ideas was just fantastic - there's humor, action, and heart. Seriously. What more could you want from an animated film?

Technically, the production did a good job on their first time out. I thought the movie was absolutely captivating and sophisticated with an engaging narrative and imaginative characters. The humor was rich and the writing was superior compared to its contemporaries. Of course, all the characters were all well-voiced and I found Steve Carrell's character particularly inspired. The kids' "vocals" brought both sass and sweetness to the story as well.

Also, I admit that I'm a sucker for happy endings, although I hate the feeling of being manipulated, but here, it was a pleasant surprise in that respect. Indeed, the caliber of the writing and acting in this animated flick ensured that it didn't sink into some schmaltzy ending - just hearfelt.

Oh, and as for Gru's loyal Minions? They were just uniformly charming. I thought they've provided most of the laughs in this film - aside from the adorable Agnes, of course. Their physical appearance - sort of a cross between a potato and a banana - were quite amusing and their clumsiness and a set of falsetto voices that made them sound like they've been snorting helium added to the humor! Haha.

One very minor quibble though about the film was that the Vector character got just a little grating as the film moves forward. But maybe that's just me nit-picking. So, whatever. Ha!

Now, while this animated flick was not quite Toy Story 3 caliber, it did offer a great, original story that didn't pander to the audience, no matter what age. A movie with bucket loads of charm, personality and neat little jabs of humor for adults. Bottom line: I loved it. Highly recommended.

Movie Review: Despicable Me Reviewed by DAM on 1:16 AM Rating: 5

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