Movie review: "Despicable Me"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the world of computer-animated features, there’s Pixar and there’s everybody else. “Despicable Me” sits at the very top of the “everybody else” pile.

It’s the sort of grin-inducing kids movie that most anyone can enjoy, and a great first effort from new animation studio Illumination Entertainment.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carell under an accent) is a semi-retired supervillain who is lured back into the game after an up-and-coming villain named Vector (Jason Segel) swipes one of the pyramids in Egypt.

Gru’s plot to best Vector eventually (and logically, I promise) involves his adoption of three painfully adorable orphan girls. Heartwarming hilarity ensues.

This isn’t a movie. It’s a smile factory. It’s got a uniquely fun animation style and the slapstick humor of old Tex Avery cartoons. Laughs are plentiful, especially every time Gru’s tiny yellow minions (who have been popping up in hilarious promos for months) are onscreen.

It also gives the heartstrings a gentle tug rather than just yanking on them as Gru’s cold heart gets warmed by his new girls.

As is often the case this summer, there’s a 3D version offered as well. It’s worth the upgrade here, particularly for a brilliant 3D roller-coaster ride that makes you wonder why more movies haven’t thought of this.

“Toy Story 3” is probably just a hair better, but your best bet is to just see ’em both and decide.

"Despicable Me"

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Three and a half stars