Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Have we learned nothing from Pixar? Despicable Me is another infantilizing entertainment with exactly one adult joke—a sign for villains saying “Bank of Evil (formerly Lehman Brothers)”—that’s weirdly out of place, not to mention mindless and unfunny. It’s indicative of the film’s general disinterest in engaging with any of its subjects, (adoption, competition, family), preferring instead to throw off a lazy joke that you won’t remember by the next scene, but don’t worry: there’s always another cliché around the corner. Even the dramatic core of the film—the grinch’s heart growing three sizes, one for each of the adorable orphan girls—is all very ‘80s family sitcom. I guess all the imagination went into the playful design work for the villains’ lairs, schemes, and technologies, which were uniformly fun and interesting. Besides that, there’s nothing here you won’t find elsewhere, except maybe the film’s obsession with fat, dumb Americans. Because Americans are fat and dumb! Get it? You could call it satire if it weren’t complicit: Sit on your ass and don’t think. You’ll love Despicable Me!