Plot Summary: An aging villain, worried that he’s falling behind the new wave of villains, decides to stage his biggest heist yet to regain his place as number one villain. But he is sidetracked by three lovable orphan girls.
Reason for the Rating: Rude humor and mild action.
Gru (Steve Carell) has pulled off some serious heists in the past, such as stealing the Jumbotron from Times Square and the Statue of Liberty…from Las Vegas. But a new super villain, Vector (Jason Segel), has over-shadowed him, stealing one of the Great Pyramids. Gru knows he is getting older and he still has never won the respect of his mother or society in general.
Gru knows he must pull his biggest job yet to win back the respect of the public and his mother—he must steal the moon.
With the help of his hundreds of yellow minions and evil scientist, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), he is ready to pull off the greatest heist ever, until Vector steals the shrink-ray gun he himself had stolen fair and square. His only chance to steal back the shrink-ray gun from Vector’s lair, guarded by heat-seeking missiles and man-eating sharks, is three innocent orphan girls who sell the Coco-Nutty cookies Vector just can’t resist.
Gru adopts the three little girls as part of his plot to penetrate Vector’s lair with robot cookies, but finds his hard criminal heart softened by Edith, Agnes and Margo. Eventually, he must choose between his dreams of super-villainy and the girls who brought love into his iron-clad life.
The plot of Despicable Me is fairly straight forward, and if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve pretty much seen the movie. However, predictable plot aside, the thing that makes this movie is the characters. Steve Carell is lovably evil as Gru and only very occasionally reminds you that it’s him talking in a Russian accent. His minions, one-eyed mutants who speak a foreign language that Gru calls his “cousins,” are also genuinely funny and diverting.
And even though the three orphans are a bit stereotyped, with their large pouty loving eyes, you love them nonetheless. The filmmakers had fun including gags, such as Gru’s evil lair complete with rhino lazy chair and Dr. Nefario’s latest evil weapons.
Although the plot is predictable and straightforward, it is a vehicle for a lot of fun and laughs along the way.
Aside from some rude humor (such as Dr. Nefario developing a “Fart Gun” rather than a “Dart Gun”), Despicable Me holds a lot of laughs for kids and is still entertaining for adults as well.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Have you ever had to choose between two things you really wanted? How did you decide between them?
• Gru didn’t feel like his mother appreciated his “accomplishments.” How do you think this affected him?
• What do you think the most important thing in your life is?
Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios.