The other day I wrote at The Tatler about The Wife and I catching up on films we’d passed on while they were in theatres. Turns out that Tangled was one that we should’ve given the big-screen treatment.
This past weekend we caught one that we were glad to have waited on. The Steve Carrel-starring Despicable Me is basically an imitation of Pixar’s The Incredibles except with the focus being on James Bond-style villains instead of superheroes. A master thief named Gru evolves from a diabolical mastermind into a good guy who comes to love the three orphans he had adopted to help with one of his schemes.
The film has some good jokes, nice eye candy visuals, and likable characters. Unlike Tangled and most Pixar movies it never really makes much of an emotional dent, though. Hence it’s a B film — pleasant and not altogether bad to watch as disposable entertainment but certainly not worth shelling out money to rent. If you’re going to watch it do so on HBO — where The Wife and I caught it and where it’s now making regular rotations.
This is actually a film where a sequel has the potential to be much better than the original. The big thing missing in the story is for the family to be made complete with a mother for the little girls and a wife for Gru. While it’s great to see the children find a Dad they also deserve a Mom. A Despicable Me 2 in which the Gru character falls for a female supervillain and has to win her affections would allow for a more emotionally satisfying conclusion.
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