Synopsis: Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy adventure featuring the return of (former?) super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable girls, the unpredictably hilarious Minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.
Release Date: July 3, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy
Despicable Me 2 finds the once malevolent Gru in a very different place. He has shucked any dastardly plots and seedy misdoings for the life of a family man, as evidenced at the end of the first film. However, a desire to be bad, or at least to add a little adventure to his life, brings Gru out of his self-imposed retirement. But, instead of the bad guy, Gru becomes the hero, as he searches for a super villain who rivals his own talents.
On the surface, Despicable Me 2 is everything audiences will want out of the animated sequel. It’s bigger, bolder, and gives the iconic minions double (if not more) screen time than the first film. Its story is also a little more layered with several plots intertwining at once, including a B-subplot involving Gru finding love. And so, in that regard, Despicable Me 2 delivers.
That being said, there are a few faults in Despicable Me 2‘s design that make it a feel a little less-than when compared to its predecessor. For one, the animation in this sequel is very busy during the action or high tempo scenes. With so many visual elements whirling and spinning around the screen, it’s hard to focus on any one thing let alone the most important. The animation is stunning – there’s a level of detail in the film that is very impressive – but occasionally that detail gets lost in quick movements and disorienting camera moves. Kids will love the film’s color palette, as it is very inviting, but they might not truly appreciate what they are seeing.
My only other major gripe with the film is a minor one, but something to point out. While the first film stood out because it took a heartfelt approach to unconventional family dynamics, Despicable Me 2 trades a lot of that heart for comedy. It still has its fair share of moments where the audience will swoon, typically in a scene between Agnes (the youngest) and Gru, but there are few and far between this time around.
Overall, the story is still engaging, if a bit predictable, and it has more minions than anyone could ever possibly want. Steve Carell is still fantastic as Gru and the supporting cast members do well to add levity when needed. At the end of the day, family audiences will come away from Despicable Me 2 happy, even if the film isn’t as good as the first.
Minions. Lots of minions. What more is there to know? Where there are minions there are likely tons of laughs to be had, and Despicable Me 2 packs the film full of those oddly shaped yellow creatures. In fact, some might argue that the film relies too heavily on the minions, almost using them as a crutch. I wouldn’t say that’s entirely true, but at times it does feel like you’re watching “The Minions Movie” rather than Despicable Me 2. Nevertheless, the minions still elicited plenty of laughter from my audience.
Apart from the minions, Despicable Me 2 is a middling comedy at best. It has some of that unconventional humor seen in the first film, but it, again, fails to replicate it as well. As was mentioned, Steve Carell is pitch perfect as Gru, and Kristen Wiig is serviceable as Gru’s love interest. Most of the supporting cast, in fact, is good for a few laughs. But really, it’s the minions audiences want to see, and Despicable Me 2 has a ton of them.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Pierre Coffin
- Screenwriter(s): Ken DaurioCinco Paul
- Cast: Steve Carell (voice of Gru)Kristen Wiig (voice of Lucy)Benjamin Bratt (voice of Eduardo/El Macho) Miranda Cosgrove (voice of Margo)Russell Brand (voice of Dr. Nefario)Ken Jeong (voice of Floyd)Steve Coogan (voice of Silas)
- Editor(s): Gregory Perler
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Heitor Pereira
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA