Despicable Me

Fitfully amusing animation with Steve Carrell and Russell Brand

(G) US. Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews

What if supervillains lived among us? That’s the question posed by this fitfully amusing animation, which follows a hulking baddie named Gru (Carell) as he tries to steal the moon. Gru is the kind of guy who’ll make a balloon animal to soothe a crying child – then pop it. But his malicious genius is barely in demand, thanks to Vector (Segel), who’s stolen the Great Pyramid of Giza and hidden it in his back yard.

Vector also has a shrink ray that Gru needs to pinch so he can get a scheme-funding loan from the Bank of Evil (‘formerly Lehman Brothers’ – the film’s best joke). What better way to make his nemesis lower his guard than with a doe-eyed trio of cookie-selling orphans? The setup is pure Looney Tunes, and Despicable Me is at its best when trading in anything-for-a-laugh prankery.

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