Despicable Me 2
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had to wait three whole years… okay, maybe like two and some change, but that’s just splitting hairs, but finally it is here. The long awaited, much anticipate, Despicable Me 2! I’ll wait a moment for all of the applause to die down. That’s right, our favorite super villain Gru is back with our favorite former orphans and the oh so loveable minions!
After an unspecified amount of time following the initial story, Gru (Steve Carell) has now hung up his super villain boots and is living the domesticated lifestyle. He’s taken to the role of a father to Margo, Edith and Agnes (I want an Agnes!) and now makes a living as a producer of jams and jellies. But the life of a former super villain can’t be roses for long. Along comes secret agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) of the Anti-Villain League (AVL). Gru, unwilling to cooperate, is taken forcefully to the AVL’s super-secret headquarters for further convincing.
At the AVL, the Director, a Mr. Silas Ramsbottom tells Gru that a super-secret toxic agent that could threaten the world’s existence has been stolen, and they require his expertise to find who stole it and get it back. Gru is asked to go undercover with Lucy to find out who the mastermind is behind the theft and get the chemical agent back before it is released upon the world with devastating consequences.
Despicable Me 2 feels like when you haven’t seen a good friend in quite some time but you start talking like a day hasn’t passed. We are brought right in to the lives of Gru and the girls and see how much they have grown and what is new in their lives. This second film doesn’t have the wit of the first, but it still has more than enough charm and excels in other areas. For instance, the amount of scenes with the minions has been ratcheted up. And let’s be honest, we all love the minions. There’s also enough smart comedy for the adults and slapstick fun for the kids to enjoy, so that everyone is happy.
Despicable Me 2, while still very funny, also provides a little more drama when compared to its predecessor. The girls are growing up and Margo is starting to like boys, so the hormones are activating. And Gru, being a new father, has to deal with his daughter being an adolescent and the reality that they will have relationships. There’s also a big element on what it means to be a family, that Gru is their father and that the girls do not have a mother. So he has to realize that fact that he can’t really provide the motherly guidance a mother gives to her daughter. There are a few other elements, but to discuss them would be to spoil some of the film, and I refuse to do that!
In terms of animation, it’s near identical to the first film, and the characters and designs are the same. This is an animated film and it is displayed as such. I mean, let’s be honest, no one has a car that turns into a mini submarine, or some rocket-ish mobile… the one that Gru drives… not sure what you even call that thing. Plus you’ll never see someone with a head like Gru, nor a minion, unfortunately. Despicable Me knows exactly what it is and plays to its strengths, much to the audience’s delight.
Despicable Me 2 doesn’t have the freshness of the original film, but it does up the ante in certain areas and further explores the characters as they grow individually and as a family. Plus it has much more minion goodness and that is all positive. If you enjoyed the initial film, you’ll definitely love the second installment. If you were so-so with the first film, then you’ll probably be so-so with this one. Overall, it has enough laughs and enough emotional sensitivity to make for a good film for just a night out or for the family. So get out there and enjoy a little Gru with a side of mystery and extra helping of minions. Pa~poi!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars