Despicable Me 2
There seems to be an abundance of child-friendly CGI movies for the summer and Despicable Me 2 seemed like one that might rise above the rest. I mean… looking at Turbo, Planes, Epic, and the horrifying sequel to Smurfs, this was a no-brainer for (hopefully) the creme of the crop.
Steve Carell returns as Gru, the evil villain turned loving father. This movie isn’t so much a redemption story, but focuses on what next. His three daughters are growing older and maybe it’s time for Gru to focus on his love life. It’s at this moment that Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help track down an evil enemy that is planning to create and unleash a horrifying breed of monster. Carell’s new partner is voiced by Kristen Wiig, and other voice talent includes Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt, and Miranda Cosgrove.
This is an easy formula and it wouldn’t been really hard for this film to flop. Dependable actor who does a funny accent for an interesting looking and engaging character… Adorable little girl character… Funny sidekicks. Action scenes. Some tugs at your heartstrings. It’s a winning combination.
And luckily, Despicable Me 2 doesn’t fail to meet those expectations. Like I said in the intro, it veers into a new arena because it’s not about redemption anymore. This one is about love and acceptance and Gru’s journey to be happy. I teared up during the finale (but to be fair, I cry during commercials). The minions still steal the show and appear even moreso than they did in the original. Most of my big laughs were minor things they did that caught me by surprise.
Carell and Wiig have chemistry even though voiceovers are often shot independently, you wouldn’t know it here. Her quirkiness and outgoing nature nicely complements Gru’s social lackings.
Visually, this movie is stunning. I think 3D would be fun but I saw it only in 2D and still loved every minute though you can see some moments that were clearly designed with the 3D viewing in mind.
What doesn’t work?
Moreso than I was expecting, this movie is aimed at younger audiences. For instance, there is a fart gun that plays a reoccurring role and I just rolled my eyes. And while the minions have an undeniable appeal, I think I hit my threshold of comic violence. The kids were loving it but I was kind of like… Okay. Next?
You can’t hold that against a movie like this, as it is aimed at younger audiences. That’s what this movie is.
Despicable Me 2 is a fun and heart-touching journey, though it lacks some of the originality of the first. The minions have a more prominent part in the movie, but you may find that you become oversaturated. And while you laugh a lot during this movie, you may notice the kids laughing much more so (which is fine but I noticed). If you’re looking for a more adult animated adventure, check out Monsters University but Despicable Me 2 is solid, if you’re looking for something light and fun.