Monday, January 20, 2014

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great laughs from fun story and characters
Cons: Doesn’t quite have the heart of the first one
The Bottom Line:
Minions create laughs
In entertaining sequel
Sure to please first’s fans

"You Really Should Announce Your Weapons After You Fire Them."

I had no desire to see the original Despicable Me, however some friends talked me into watching it with them, and I fell in love.  Now I’ve gotten to see Despicable Me 2, and I enjoyed it as well, although it wasn’t quite as good.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) has given up his evil villain ways and settled into life as a single dad to Margo, Edith, and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Elsie Fisher).  He’s trying to create a line of jellies and jams and gives fairy princess birthday parties.  The worst problem he has is dodging his neighbor’s attempts to set him up with her friends.

All that changes when Lucy (Kristen Wiig) walks into his life.  She’s from the AVL (that's the Anti-Villain League) and she needs his help.  An entire research lab has been stolen from the North Pole, and it included a very dangerous transformation serum.  Can Gru help her get it back?

Those looking to laugh will certainly be rewarded here.  This is a comedy that kids and parents will both laugh at.  When I watched it, it was with two adult friends, and we were all laughing very hard at the story and lines.  Yet their young kids enjoy it, too.

The plot is fairly predictable.  I didn’t get all the twists along the way, but I saw several of them coming early.  That didn’t dampen my enjoyment since the laughs kept coming.

However, one thing I loved about the first movie was the charm the three girls introduced to things and how that interplay affected Gru.  That wasn’t here this time; in fact, the girls are more supporting players than main characters.  While Gru and Lucy share some great scenes, it wasn’t quite the same.

The voice cast is wonderful.  They do a good job of bringing their characters to life and keeping a consistent voice that isn’t necessarily their normal voice.  That allows me to get lost in the story without picturing the actor saying their lines.

The animation doesn’t go for the hyper realism of Pixar or Disney, but the stylized animation presented here is perfect for the story.  Actually, I think it helps with the laughs at times.

Plus, how could you realistically create the Minions?  These little yellow guys once again steal the show and provide some of the best laughs.

So if you were a fan of the first, be sure to watch Despicable Me 2.  While not quite as good as the original, it still provides plenty of laughs.

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