Despicable Me 2 (2013)

Despicable Me 2 (2013) Poster

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Crime, Family

Directors: Pierre Louis Padang Coffin, Chris Renaud

Writers: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul

Staring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt

Rating: ★★★½

Despicable Me was a huge success and there is no wonder why, it was charming, fun and adorable with a somewhat unique approach to characters, especially the crazy lovable minions. When announced that a sequel would follow and that Despicable Me 2 would be hitting our screens this summer I was worried and unsure to say the least, it had a lot to live up to and to achieve the same success was going to be a big challenge. The ending to its prequel was heart warming and simply lovely but it doesn’t take long for Despicable Me 2 to steer away from that focusing more on a different story, I’m still unsure if this film totally works but nevertheless its adorable and hilariously funny.

We once again follow the character of Gru (Steve Carell) however this time he’s retired and living a somewhat dull life where making jam is the only horrific thing the former villain is inflicting upon society causing his own professor to even leave. The film firstly opens to a group of workers being magnetically attacked and pulled up into the air in a highly comedic manner only leaving the occupant of a rent-a-loo behind. This bizarre event attracts the AVL (Anti-Villain League), in desperate need they send for an agent to hire former villain and master of mass destruction himself Gru to help them solve the case, with his new mission certainly spicing up his life it fuels for the rest of the film. Gru works alongside agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) with their first meeting involving electrical lipstick and getting chucked into a boot of a car its safe to say there’s more than a few sparks between the two. As the plot develops a strange love story evolves surrounding the two agents, however their mission will get in their way. Investigating a number of suspects located in the local mall, including hairdressers and restaurant owners they are looking for a deadly dangerous formula however one of their leads rings bells in Gru’s head about a former legendary villain.

Although the plots are entertaining for the first half of the film there seems to be too many and its overwhelming and somewhat confusing to say the least, even for a kids film. I haven’t even mentioned the arrival of a young boy that sweeps one of Gru’s girls of her feet, the deadly crazy chicken or the mysterious case of the lovable minions disappearing quickly and bizarrely. It makes for a sloppy watch and it seems that they had too many ideas and wanted to use them all however as they eventually interlinks around the half way mark things start to be more linear and enjoyable. As Gru worries about his daughter Margo’s love life the three girls worry about his causing for some funny scenes including internet dating and impressions of Gru “pooping”, well according to Agnes. As the film draws ever so closely to an end Gru’s suspicions of the legendary villain appear to be true leading to Gru becoming an unlikely hero. The disappearance of the minions become apparent and they are soon found, but just with a different colour and sanity and as for the love story, it boils down to a predictable happy ending all providing laughs and giggles on the way.

Despicable Me was charming due to the cuteness of characters such as Agnes and the change of heart by Gru however its sequel doesn’t seem to focus or highlight this one bit. The ever so sweet Agnes is somewhat in the background as is her lovable companion Mr. Unicorn, Despicable Me 2 feels to me like a completely different film and I’m not too sure if that’s quite a good thing. However one of my favourite things about Despicable Me and I can safely speak for others too, are the cute; small, crazy minions and they are very much present and in abundance. If there’s something that saves Despicable Me 2 from being another pointless boring sequel it is the minions, when the plot seems dry they pop up with a gag or in this films case a song and dance. Despicable Me 2 very much focuses on the minion mayhem and it leads to some crazy sequences and some hilarious entertainment.

Although there are certainly tricks and elements missed by the creators of Despicable Me 2 it seems to be as you reflect you realise that you found yourself laughing more times than you think and when comparing to those bland moments it more than levels out. The quality of the animation is outstanding and completely faultless, although something you come to expect I thought its more than worth a mention. The casting as always is great, Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig as main characters were brilliant and as were the likes of Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario and Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo. The score added to the entertainment, helped of course by the adorable singing voices of the minions.

Despicable Me 2 had a lot to live up to and it was never going to be easy, it could have played it safe and writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul could have milked the relationship of Gru and his family even more but instead they were original and inventive and most importantly funny. Although not as cute or adorable as the first film it is certainly funnier than its prequel, with many eye-watering moments and even relatable embarrassing scenes. It has its flaws but I was left entertained and that was what its aim was, for me Despicable Me 2 is worth the watch and definitely a trip to cinema to see. Cue cheesy sign off and minions singing.