Minion madness and Grutastic comedy

Despicable Me 2

 I know I’m a little late, but the time has come to review the latest animated flick to storm the theaters.  Today we will be covering Despicable Me 2, another sequel that had big expectations to meet not only for me, but also for many of my friends and fellow critics.  Yet like many sequels there is always the chance that the sequel will tank, and the box office now has your money you could have used for dinner.  Is Gru and company’s new adventure one of these cases, or is there still some treasure within the coal mine of sequels.

 

We all remember how cute and fun  the first Despicable me was.  Gru’s (Steve Carell) journey from super villain to loving father was heartwarming, and had plenty of comedy to make one laugh throughout the entire film.  Although it wasn’t the best and more in depth story, it was just involved enough to make girls go awww, parents smile, and keep the kids entertained with all the laughs.  If you’re a fan of that, you pretty much get the same thing in this film, though the story is much simpler and less endearing.  From the trailers you can get that Gru has given up the villain game, and is being conscripted into the anti villain league (AVL) where his criminal mind is to assist in catching the latest criminal.  While you may think this would open a fun plot set, the tale instead focuses on Gru’s love life as the primary tale, working to grow him closer to a variety of odd-looking ladies who have some extreme features to their characters.  While the love story is cuter than one of Taylor Swift’s love songs, it’s incredibly predictable, and a little too focused for my taste since it took away from some of the other characters.

 

Luckily love can’t take away from the mission and Despicable Me 2’s just as big a doozy.  Rather than trying to steal the moon, Gru’s goal is now to help find the villain responsible for stealing a complex containing a rare formula with destructive consequences.  A few new characters get added to the cast to act as suspects, one of which has the most involvement and is obviously the villain since they persistently pursue the plot.  As I mentioned earlier, the plot isn’t that complex or captivating in these movies, and Gru’s fears of love have taken the front seat, stealing attention from other points of the movie.  Most likely though you won’t really care for a complex plot if you go to see this movie, and just want to see something that is fun.  You’re in luck this movie is still a lot of fun and laughs in a colorful box.

 

Although his story is much simpler, Gru was still entertaining to me.  Carell brings his voice talents back as he delivers his lines with that hilarious accent and sarcasm we loved in the bald fool.  He still over exaggerates things, is a clumsy fool that somehow manages to land on his feet, and yet has some humorous dialog that will have all ages laughing with delight.   As for Gru’s new partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig), she’s a ball of energy with a side of awkwardness.  Wiig’s energy has been captured in digital form, and her character’s child like qualities are a fun little trip that gets a tad annoying at times.  Universal did give her some adult qualities though that although do not develop her character, helps drive Gru’s development in the story.  Those who like the three girls of Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith, and Agnes well prepare to be a bit disappointed in this movie.  Margo and Edith in particular have taken a serious cut in their parts and have been reduced to a few fun scenes that are really more about Gru than them.  Agnes, the cute little munchkin, is still super sweet and full of those imaginative little remarks that seem to melt girls’ hearts.  However, even she has been reduced to a smaller role that provides less laughs than what we saw before.  As for Dr. Nefario and Vector, well you’ll be disappointed with what they have done to these dudes.  The evil assistant is scarcely in this movie, making a few, well-timed appearances that are not as entertaining as they once were.  Vector the immature twerp is nowhere in sight as well, apparently still stranded on the moon doing who knows what, (my guess is building his next fortress for a possible third sequel).

Of course if you’re like me then the real reason you were pumped for the sequel was because of the minions.  That’s where the other big focus of this movie is, the minions get a lot of screen time as well.  The humor with the yellow blobs is still silly, dimwitted fun that still has some cleverness in what they dug out.  Kids, and those young at heart, will enjoy the juvenile sounds and random screaming they make.  The slapstick humor of the minions getting harmed, blown up, smashed, and countless other methods of harm were also funny to me as well, but for those who like a little more edge and attitude behind it, you’ll probably just beg for the scenes to be over with.  For me though, the greatest treasure is the references to music, movies, and television of the past, and the edge the little dudes have.  I don’t want to give much away, but the minions have gotten a little more developed over the last few years.  While most are really just babbling extras that clumsily get themselves in trouble, a few have some personality to make them stand out, and become characters on their own.  Bottom line is, the minions are fun, ridiculous, and funny and if you liked them then, you’ll like them even more now.

Despicable Me 2 is a fun movie that brings the cute laughs and story that you expect.  The line of if it ain’t broken don’t fix it appears to be the motto, as this movie has a lot of the same qualities the first one had.  Yes the story is much simpler, the emotional level has been turned down, and many of the characters we loved in the first are downscaled or not there at all.  The constants of Gru and the minions are a good enough reason to see this movie though.  As for the 3-D aspect, I can’t really comment on that since I saw the 2-D version.  If you want stuff flying out of the screen towards your face, or want that for your kids, I can say it would be worth it, but save your money and see the regular instead.  So families this reviewer is saying bring yourselves to the theater and have some movie fun.  The score for this movie is:

 

Animation/Comedy/Crime:  8.5

Movie Overall:  8.0 

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