Despicable Me — movie review
Release date: July 3, 2013
Directed by: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
Written by: Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, and Benjamin Bratt
The problem with making sequels to animated family comedies like “Despicable Me” is the follow-up tend to miss what made the original so unique. “Despicable Me 2” is fast paced and funny enough, but it’s missing that despicable-ness that made its predecessor so much fun.
The first movie was a battle for Gru (Steve Carell), as he struggled to be the world’s greatest villain and his new found love for Margo, Agnes, and Edith. In “Despicable Me 2”, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain league by Lucy (Kristen Wiig), to help track down a ruthless villain, who has stolen some mysterious serum to do some evil villain stuff.
“Despicable Me 2” is, at heart, a love story. Much of the film focuses on Gru’s journey to proving he is in fact a good guy now. The AVL doesn’t take him seriously, except for Lucy, who is just as smitten by Gru as he is by her. There’s some good moments between them, as they both fumble through their goofy scenes together, but it feels a little contrived and obvious.
If you’re a fan of the minions, you’ll be happy to hear they have a much bigger role here. They’re actually the best part of the movie. Most of the gags have been seen over and over again in trailers but they’re still funny.
Where “Despicable Me 2” suffers is its villain. At one point, Al Pacino was supposed to lend his voice to El Macho — Benjamin Bratt took his place — the nefarious villain, who is trying to do something villainous that has to do with turning Gru’s minions into evil, rampaging critters that destroy everything in their path. Neither the character, nor his plan, is interesting enough to apply the proper amount of friction that is needed.
The fun of the first movie was Gru’s commitment to his rivalry with Vector and the conflict that came when the orphans came into his life. Here Gru has happily accepted his new life, which is fine, because there are still some sweet moments with the kids, but it would have been fun to see him longing for that life of the despicable villain, especially considering there is a sub-plot that involves Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), leaving him because he misses being evil.
“Despicable Me 2” is sure to be a hit with families and kids of all ages, especially those who get a giggle and a kick out of everything thing the minions do — guess what? they’re getting their own movie, so get used to them — but overall, it’s a less original, play-it-safe movie.
- The Lone Ranger
- White House Down
- World War Z
- Monsters University
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