On-Camera Review: Despicable Me

by Eric Melin on July 9, 2010

in Video Reviews

This review is from ABC KTKA-49, where Eric’s reviews run every Friday night on the 6′ o clock news. His rating for “Despicable Me” — the Swiss Fist — stands for complete neutrality and is very rarely used; only in the most mediocre of circumstances.

“Despicable Me” is the first computer-animated film from a new production company called Illumination Entertainment and it tells a story that—on the surface—seems a bit prickly and hard to get into.

An evil genius who lives in an underground lair right in the middle of suburbia hatches a plan that will make him the number-one villain the world’s ever known. Steve Carell, who voices the character, skillfully walks a tightrope between endearing and unlikable as the audience grapples with the idea that the guy they are supposed to be rooting for is a big creep.

As the movie progresses, however, it’s clear that beyond some mildly clever sight gags, “Despicable Me” is content to mine the same middling formulaic territory of so many other kids’ films.

To be fair, the film does a perfectly adequate job of telling the familiar story of the old codger who develops a heart. Here, he falls for three cute little orphan girls.

The story unfolds in predictable and amiable fashion with some good laughs here and there from little helpers called Minions—think Oompaloompas or Ewoks and you’re on the right track.

It makes fun—if not gimmicky—use of its 3D imagery, it has a nice message about acceptance, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. So why am I so “eh!” about “Despicable Me”?

I guess that’s because there’s no real magic there—it’s just perfectly average in every way.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes for The Pitch. He’s former President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls, Ultimate Fakebook, and Truck Stop Love . He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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