Review: Despicable Me 2
Former super villain and father of three, Gru is asked to help out the Anti-Villain League in order to stop a new menacing terror, all the while trying to be a great father.
Who’s in it?
Steve Carrell returns with his Russian accent as the voice of Gru, while Kristin Wiig joins the cast as his new partner in anti-crime, Lucy. Ken Jeong and Steve Coogan also feature, but it’s Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud who are the most entertaining because they, of course, voice the minions.
Loveable animated characters return once again this summer, but instead of monsters we have minions, and instead of facing the awkward and uncertain nature of youth, we have a character facing the awkward and uncertain nature of full time parenthood.
The pointy-nosed and round-headed Gru, once an aspiring evil genius and now a man of familial love, has retired. He is resigned to being a stay-at-home (or stay-at-fortress, as it were) doing his earnest best to take care of his three girls, while trying to get his own business started – making jams and jellies with his colleague Dr. Nefario.
Those plans get put on hold when he is dragooned into going undercover for the Anti-Villain League, an organization whose leader makes strangely very clear that they don’t deal with murders or small time outlaws – only global threats, like stealing the moon say, or trying to infect the world with some Incredible Hulk-like drug.
Gru is teamed up with Lucy Wilde, a tall and slender redhead with a bubbly personality and electric lipstick. The two make an odd couple of sorts, and the film smartly and successfully focuses more on the two of them than the actual threat. A few different moving parts come together in the second half of a film whose reach does not exceed its grasp. A couple possible suspects pop up as Lucy and Gru investigate, all the while minions are slowly disappearing and Gru’s oldest daughter meets a suave young boy.
The focus remains on Gru and his family: the girls desire for a mother, Gru’s overprotecting nature and genuine enthusiasm. And then there are the minions, a hoard of the most infectious and mesmerizing animated creatures there are. Often incomprehensible, they remain hysterical, absurd, and irresistibly funny. Allusions abound during a scene in Gru’s jelly factory, as minions are crushing berries and taking in lunch while working all day long. There are plenty of jokes for the older crowd, lots of slapstick for the kids, and enchanting sights and sounds to hold the attention of anyone.
Visually stunning, Despicable Me 2 carefully balances between being a sort of Transformers Lite, simply bombarding the audience with colors and loud noises, and being something too serious. It’s a satisfying experience, an escape from the serious nature of most summer flicks and the string of inept comedies. You’ll ‘ooh’ and ‘aah,’ you’ll say ‘aww,’ and you’ll laugh a lot, and this summer that’s a pretty good deal.
Should You See It:
It’s the more entertaining if less serious of the two animated fare so far released this summer, so yes. And stay during the credits for the minion fun, and a moment of 3D amazement.
I don’t know what they are saying half the time, but every noise and peep the minions make is hysterical. A musical performance towards the end is unbelievable.