As the title suggests, the protagonist of this 3D animated caper would like to be reckoned as the world's most nefarious criminal. But his dastardly deeds, such as stealing a replica of the Statue of Liberty, have fallen short of notoriety.
Worse, a teen nerd (Segel, convincingly cocky) has heisted an Egyptian pyramid making him a contender for the greatest baddie of them all.
Never one to shy from a challenge, the wannabe supervillain (voiced with show-stealing glee by Carell) plants to outdo the wunderkind by swiping the moon. But in formulaic Hollywood fashion, his space odyssey hits a speed bump after he encounters three adorable orphan girls.
Based on an idea from Spanish animator Sergio Pablos, Despicable Me grows ever more heart-warming as it saunters along to a predictable feel-good finale.
The animation is vivid and the two rival lead characters make an appealing pair. The stellar vocal cast includes Will Arnett as the president of the Bank of Evil and old-timer Julie Andrews as our anti-hero's loathsome mother.
The narrative does occasionally falter due to the slapstick streak pulsing throughout the movie.
No matter, Despicable Me is full of good cheer and has enough laughs to keep the young children as well as accompanying adults captivated.