Maybe I need to see it again, but I did NOT like the first DESPICABLE ME. I didn’t like the main character and thought the villain was very annoying. I did think the kids were charming and that the minions were funny, but they were just secondary. The main plot, I didn’t care for. So I went into this, with my equally skeptical 9-year-old daughter, with my expectations very low.
This one begins establishing that Gru has a good relationship with his adopted kids. He’s not much a villain anymore, though he still has a bit of a mischievous streak. He is visited by Lucy, who works for the anti-villian league, and is recruited to track down a mystery villain. Both he and Lucy go undercover as cupcake bakers in a mall, investigating every person who works there. His kids get mixed up in the plot too. And of course, the minions, who I still think look like penises, are around reeking all sorts of amusing havoc.
And that’s about it. There really isn’t much of a main plot here. I was surprised by just how slight the story was. In fact, you might say that the approach is the exact opposite of the first one. I thought the main plot in the that one got in the way of the fun characters. I just wanted to hang with the minions and the kids, but the plot kept on getting in the way. But in this new one, the main plot isn’t really in the foreground all that much. The focus IS on the characters this time. The minions are all over this one and the kids are even more charming this time. You know what? Because of this approach, I enjoyed this much more than the first one.
I found Gru to be likable this time. It helped that they gave him a romantic sub-plot with Lucy. She’s a silly character, but adorable. And you really do feel chemistry between them. I was rooting for them to end up together. Definitely had more romantic chemistry than say the latest Nicholas Sparks movie had. And, like the first one, Gru’s relationship with his kids is the real heart of the movie. Being a single dad myself, that father/daughter stuff does get to me. I even got a little teary eyed during one scene.
But the real surprise for me was that this film is fucking funny! I laughed harder and more often than in any movie I have seen so far this year (besides PAIN & GAIN). And the main reason for this is the minions. Holy shit! Those guys are absolutely hilarious. They speak in gibberish and sound effects and I couldn’t stop laughing at anything they did. There’s always something going on in the background too. Gru and someone would be talking up front, but if you pay closer attention, behind them the minions are usually doing something randomly funny. I also thought it was funny that Gru can tell them all apart. When he calls one of them, “Kevin”, it just cracks me up. How the heck does he know who’s who? Funny. Oh my God, and when that minion comes running in wearing a fire helmet and ferociously swinging axes…. well I fell out of my chair!
This movie is very loud and fast paced. The energy is almost manic. People used to the subtleness of Pixar might be overwhelmed. But I must say that DESPICABLE ME 2 is far more entertaining than MONSTERS UNIVERSTIY. That movie was a slight, harmless film. This movie is crazy hilarious. Kids will absolutely eat this up, and the adults will laugh at it too. There’s some references exclusively for grown ups that they’ll appreciate.
I must also say that if you’re going to see it, it’s absolutely worth the upgrade for the 3-D. Now, I’m not a supporter of 3-D at all. In fact, I’m getting pretty tired of the process. However, the 3-D in this movie is some of the best 3-D I have ever seen on the big screen. There was a moment when some bubbles shoot out at the audience and my daughter (who loved the movie as well) stuck out her foot, and it actually looked like that she popped the bubble. That was pretty cool!
So, if you liked the first DESPICABLE ME, you’re guaranteed to like the second one. I didn’t like the first one and I loved this. In fact, I liked this one so much that I am probably going to re-watch the first one again to see if I’ll like it better the second time. But one thing is for certain, DESPICABLE ME 2 is fun, hilarious and charming. Definitely the family movie to see this summer! In fact, it’s one of the best films of the summer, period! ★★★½ (out of ★★★★)
- Rated PG for rude humor and mild action.
- Running time: 1hr 37min.