My brother Doug and his family are visiting this weekend, and yesterday was too rainy for the beach, so we all went to see this and everyone enjoyed it, though Dylan at age 1 wasn’t really watching. Dylan had fun with the snacks instead.
Steve Carell does a great job with the purposely funny eastern European accent for Mr. Gru, the previously successful but now aging super-villain shown above, and all the voices are good. I didn’t recognize Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother.
The computer animation is top notch, with the characters mostly exaggerated humans somewhat in the style of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” but all very effective in their “acting,” from over-the-top theatrics to tiny facial expression changes. We saw it in 2D, and it was perfectly fine that way, only some tricks in the end credits played on the 3D idea.
The story is a funny take on our world, but one where super-villains are somewhat celebrated for their best thefts and capers, and Mr. Gru has lost his edge to an unknown rival who has stolen one of Egypt’s pyramids. Gru decides he needs to top that by stealing the moon, and gets his scientist assistant and a large band of small but funny minions on the job. The rival, Vector, soon shows himself, and he and Gru battle over possession of the shrinking ray that will allow the moon to be stolen, with Vector gaining it first. Gru adopts three orphan girls selling cookies to help him penetrate Vector’s stronghold, and that’s where the plot turns somewhat “Annie,” as the girls begin by annoying Gru greatly, but gradually winning his affection.
Good film, very funny and engaging, highly recommended.