Superheroes have never been more popular. The entire world is waiting to see what happens next in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, while Amazon's hit show The Boys skewers the genre beyond the point of no return. But in 2010, Marvel was just kicking off its current era of domination when, seemingly out of nowhere, a new movie arrived on the scene with a timeless satire of superhero pop culture.
Despicable Me gets a lot of heat for some very valid reasons. It invented Minions, which led to an endless stream of nonsensical memes and one very mediocre spinoff movie. Despicable Me 2 also gave the world Pharell's ubiquitous earworm, "Happy," which no doubt ruined the summer of 2013 for millions of people. But observed in a vacuum, Despicable Me is still a great sci-fi comedy that doesn't get enough credit, which is why you should absolutely watch it before it leaves Netflix on September 30.
Don't believe me? Here are three reasons why you need to watch Despicable Me ASAP.
3. Steve Carrell as Gru — The Office was still on the air in 2010 and Steve Carrell was at the height of his popularity. He could have phoned it in for a quick voice-acting paycheck and called it a day. But that's not what Steve Carrell is all about.
Even in his worst performances (cough cough Space Force cough), Carrell always gives it his all, and Despicable Me is no exception. He invented a new voice even when his normal one is already cartoonish enough, and he really just... goes for it. Based on Gru alone, it's easy to see why this kids' cartoon launched an unstoppable franchise.
2. Fun sci-fi gadgets — The best part of an animated superhero (or villain) movie is that there are no limits on what sci-fi gizmos can exist. Sure, CGI makes pretty much anything possible, but in a live-action movie it can be tough to sell some of the more absurd ideas that work perfectly fine in a cartoon.
That's one of the reasons The Incredibles is so much fun, and it's a big selling point for Despicable Me too. The movie begins with the Great Pyramid of Giza being stolen and replaced by a giant inflatable replica. Later, a shrink ray is used to steal the moon (yes, the moon). Along the way, the story is packed full of implausible sci-fi moments that reveal just how much creativity went into the film. Speaking of which...
1. Minions — This might be a controversial opinion, but I actually like the Minions, at least in the context of this movie. Are they entertaining enough to deserve their own origin story and a sequel in 2021? No way. But are they a clever and amusing creation with a fascinating invented language? 100 percent.
Also, I don't want to live in a world where this never happened.
Despicable Me is streaming on Netflix from now until September 30, 2020.