Despicable Me 2

despicable me 2

Three years ago, the original “Despicable Me” took everyone by surprise by offering a film with comically inept, soft-hearted villain who was slowly won over by three children. Now Gru, his family and his minions are back, only this time, he’s working for the good guys and finds himself facing romantic entanglements as well.

It’s an entertaining summer film, but in spite of its best efforts, it can’t live up to the magic of the original.

After adopting three girls, Gru (Steve Carell) finds himself getting out of the villain business for good. He’s unable to stay uninvolved, however, after an operative of the Anti-Villain League (AVL) kidnaps him and convinces him to do consultation work on a case for them. Recently an entire sub-arctic research station was stolen, and the AVL is worried about the research they were doing. The station was working on a secret formula that mutates animals into larger, more aggressive versions of themselves. Obviously, if this formula were to fall into the wrong hands, it could be used for evil.

Gru reluctantly accepts the assignment, and soon finds himself working undercover with Lucy (Kristen Wiig), the AVL agent who kidnapped him. The two of them set up shop in a local shopping mall, where trace elements of the formula were detected. Posing as bakers operating a cupcake shop, Gru and Lucy stake out all the other shop owners for suspicious activity. Gru believes that the owner of a Mexican restaurant (Benjamin Bratt) reminds him of an old super-villain named El Macho, but the AVL is focused on Floyd Eagle-san (Ken Jeong), the owner of a wig shop.

As Gru and Lucy conduct their investigation, the villain responsible for the theft of the formula kidnaps Gru’s minions, considering them the perfect subjects for experimentation. Things get even worse for Gru, too. All the while he’s on secret assignment, his daughters are trying to set him up on dates, a process that turns out to be dangerous for him as well!

Will Gru be able to find the secret formula in time to save his minions, and the world? Will he be able to save his sanity as his daughters try to set him up romantically?

“Despicable Me 2″ will be sure to entertain the children who are taken to see it and the adults who accompany them, but it has a hard time living up to the legacy of its predecessor. The original film introduced us to the hysterical character of Gru. He was ambitious, yet inept. As he ran across the three adorable young girls he would later adopt, his evil heart slowly melted. Unfortunately for the second chapter of the saga, there’s nothing to rival that here. It’s not as fun watching Gru be good, and as hard as they try with the romantic subplot, it’s not as endearing as watching his change of heart over the children. What we’re left with is a rather soft action comedy, with scattered moments of genuine laughs and an erstwhile attempt at being heartfelt that doesn’t fully engage the audience.

If you’re a fan of the minions, it certainly seems as though they upped the minion quotient for this film. The waddle and babble and destroy things unintentionally. You’ll get to see them fight each other and wear silly costumes and most of all, sing. They amused me well enough, but I’m not such a fan that I can get carried away about what they brought to the table here.

It’s an amusing film, but doesn’t quite tug the heart-strings like the first one did, and certainly has a less worthy plot. It will still provide an afternoon of family fun for parents looking to entertain their kids, but I think that’s about all it delivers.

B

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42 thoughts on “Despicable Me 2

  1. Glad To Hear It’s Good!! I really can’t wait to see this during the 4th of July weekend (from July4th-July8th)!!! Who knows, it could be than Monsters University for me!!!

    • Personally I liked Monster’s U a lot more, I think the story held together better and had a little more heart to it.

      This was decent, too, but I didn’t quite think it was in that one’s league. ;) Hope you enjoy it though!

  2. Just a B. You’re so generous with the A’s (The Heat, Man of Steel, Evil Dead) I was sure this would rate at least an A-. Just saw this and I was shocked at how good it was.

  3. Hello! Happy 4th of July!

    Well, I went in excited about the first one–you know I love animation :)–and came out…meh. I loved parts of that movie (villain bank? brilliant) and I hated parts of that movie and the minions are cute–but exhausting after about :30 (slapstick does not replace story). So, I will not be rushing to see this one–I will wait. Thanks for confirming it for me.

    Later! :D

    • Yeah, Nedi, if the first one wore you out, you can imagine that it’ll happen even quicker this time. Especially the minions, who have turned it up a notch in this movie 8O LOL That :30 will be about :10 here LOL

  4. We took the kids to the movies this week, and it was a woes up between monsters university and this one. I loved monsters, bu figured despicable might be a tad to grown up for a four year old…. I’ll still see it, but only on blu. Nice review, fogs.

    • Thanks Rodney. In my opinion, you made the right call going to Monsters. I don’t know that this would be too grown up for kids (though some parts would be slow for them, for sure) but I definitely liked Monsters U a lot more. ;)

  5. Your comment about having more minions was something I thought they might go over the top on. The minions seemed to be the focus of a lot of the trailers and most of the advertising. Thanks Fogs!

    • Totally the focus of the marketing, there’s no doubt about that! Not entirely the focus of the film though. It’s still Gru’s movie, but the minions have expanded their screentime to lets say 40%

      They’ve ALMOST taken over. Not quite though…

  6. Good Review! I am a fan of the first one and I found this very very disappointing. you can clearly see that they had no idea what to do with the characters so they decided to give more screen time to the Minions instead (I still find them cute though :) ) .

    • I don’t know that they had NO idea what to do with the characters, but what they came up with certainly wasn’t as solid as the first movie, which was excellent. I was disappointed, too, but I think families will still enjoy it.

    • I definitely recommend the first one wholeheartedly. There’s no doubt about it, its an excellent animated film.

      This one I could take it or leave it though, I wasn’t as charmed by it. :(

  7. Hi, Fogs:

    So, Gru; like The Grinch; grows a heart and pursues it during this latest outing. That may be enough. Along with the girls and minions to get me to go see it. Instead of waiting for DVD or another venue.

    Can’t wait for a later film focusing on how Gru, the minions and little sisters would react to Agnes’ first crush.

    • Oh. LOL. I guess I forgot to mention that… it’s not Agnes, she’s the youngest, right? The eldest girl DOES have a crush on a boy in this movie. That’s one of the subplots. Sorry to not have included that :(

      Meanwhile though, yeah, this time the Grinch’s heart melting is focused romantically and not… fatherly. It makes for an interesting enough, fun movie. Nothing great this time out I didn’t think, though…

      • Hi, Fogs:

        I got the girls mixed up last comment.I meant Margo, who is the oldest.
        Edith’s the middle sister. And Agnes is the youngest.

        So it all pans out well.

  8. I really loved the first Despicable Me, but I had the feeling the second one wouldn’t quite be able to capture the same magic. :( This one will probably be a rental for me.

  9. You know what’s weird? I saw Despicable Me 2 today and liked it a lot better than the first one. And so did everyone I went to see it with, including my child who had really liked the first one. I mean, I was expecting not to because of your review plus I had been lukewarm on the first one. Then I just went in with low expectations and enjoyed every minute – from the birthday party to to the minions minioning. {shrug} Go figure.

    • Yeah, we’re definitely on opposite sides of the coin. On both movies, then! I was really enthused about the first Despicable Me… this one, not as much. I mean, it was still entertaining and everything, but I didn’t find anything special about it :(

      • I understand. This one just made me laugh a lot more. And I really didn’t miss Julie Andrews. I usually love her and she gets a free pass, but they rightly eliminated the mean mom with the Euro mystery accent for this outing….

  10. Checked it out today and it was a pretty good movie. Your review was pretty much spot on. While I had a few laughs, the kids laughed more. The story was good but like you said, very thin, very predictable. Even with Dr. Nefario switching sides and then coming back. All in all, I liked it though. I tend to like stupid humor.

    • Glad to hear you and the fam enjoyed it at least. I enjoyed it, too, but there wasn’t anything that memorable or great about it. A good time, but soon will be out of mind, I’m sure, buddy. :(

  11. Saw this tonight and we all enjoyed it, but agreed it wasn’t any where near as good as the first one. If the first one was an “A” grade, this one might barely make a “B-”. Still fun and funny, but not in any way excellent.

    • Exactly. I think the first one was great. Highly, highly entertaining. And unique, too, with Gru and his gang. It was excellent.

      This felt like your standard sequel with little reason to be except to follow up a financially successful original :(

  12. Pingback: A Filmster Double Quickie: Despicable Me 2 & The Lone Ranger | The Filmster

  13. I’d probably put the two in the same basket. (Oddly enough, I grade the first an 85 – this one an 88. I probably would have given the first a 90 on first view, but by the 85 point, I’d seen it about six or seven times. But I haven’t worn it out yet. I guess you could call me a die-hard Despicable Me fan :D.) Anyway, I love the minions singing their renditions and screwing around. I could watch those little guys all day. (Well, actually, as much as I love them, I’d probably need a breather, so I could watch them for two hours, take an hour break, and just watch them continue their antics.)

    A B is a good-enough score, so I won’t go off the wall bonkers with low scores others are giving ;) I loved this movie, so I’m glad to see you enjoyed a fair amount, as well. So, nice review :D I’d agree that it struggled to relive the magic, at least with the villain – but I thought it elevated the slapstick humour and I really enjoyed the subplots. And I thought it was really funny how they embraced the ironic dilemma of making a super villain movie about a bad guy who isn’t exactly a bad guy any more.

    I thought it was truly endearing. SO amusing, too. If you can take or leave the minions, though, are you excited at all for their own movie coming in 2014? I’ve posted my review of this (as well Lone Ranger), so add those to your reading list if you’d like to, Fogs… Sorry for the long comment :D

  14. They have some animated billboard thing at our local theater that has the minions on repeat dancing and making noises so it is only a matter of time till jr. drags me to see this one. Admittedly, I enjoyed the first one but we shall see if this one manages to reach those levels of funny. Your review makes it sound like it doesn’t ;-(

  15. Saw this with Ela a few nights ago. I agree it wasn’t as good as the first but, enjoyable, nonetheless. I want to go again with Sula so I can see it in 3D.

    AS an aside… I let Ela pick our seats and ended up in the 1st row, isle seat. Lesson learned.

    • LOL!!! That’s way too funny. Could you still even see? Hope she enjoyed it at least.

      Yeah, its definitely going to be an enjoyable family watch, but I was disappointed, seeing as the first was SO great.

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