Friday, December 06, 2013

"Despicable Me" (the first film), trivializes adoption; do we take self-generated "Evil" seriously in a satire?

I finally got around to renting the first “Despicable Me” animated film (2010), from Universal and directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.
We have the voice of Steve Carell, without having to see him as a “Man-o-lantern” (from “The 40-Year Old Virgin”), as villain Gru, who wants to prove he can be a bigger villain than Vector (Jason Segel), who actually explains to the “Bank of Evil” (said to be Lehman Brothers) that his desires have both magnitude and direction.
Gru, growing old, feels outdone by his younger rival Vector when the latter “steals” the Pyramids of Egypt, leaving a hollow model in its place in the desert. So Gru comes up with a plan to steal the Moon, by using some sort of laser ray to shrink it first.  It sounds like the depilatory “No-no”.  But, again, we don’t have to look at Carell.
Gru has snuck into Vector’s lair to steal back some hardware when he encounters three orphan girls trying to sell cookies.  He adopts the girls, as if it were that easy to raise “Wednesday’s children”.  He wants to use them as accomplices, and is quite taken by their dependence on him and then their love for him.
I wondered how this film would fit into the debate on “family values” and the shortage of adoptive parents, but the way the subject is introduced trivializes it.  But, then again, this is just fluffy entertainment. 
The animation involving the Moon toward the end – even the idea of living on it – does get interesting.
If the Moon really disappeared, so would life on Earth.

The Netflix rental DVD points to extras, but when you click on them you are told you can see them only if you purchase the BluRay DVD.

You can rent this first film from YouTube for $2.99. 

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