To tell the truth, I rather stumbled upon the Despicable Me ‘series’ by accident. Back in the summer of 2010, I was in Alaska for a few months and didn’t have ready access to a movie theater or even the internet so I wasn’t aware of box office performances, and other movie current events. When I came home in August, my girlfriend of the time and myself randomly picked this movie out of the air to go see as we were standing in front of the “Now Playing” board at the theater. It was probably the best decision I made in that whole relationship, as the first film installment was somewhat emotionally moving, hilarious, and just absolutely adorable.
So, naturally, with the success of Despicable Me ($543 million profit vs. $69 million budget), a sequel was called into the works, and released over the Independence Day extended holiday weekend. Yes, that would make this review very late, I would admit. But, I promised to take my little brother to go see it, and had to fit his schedule and mine, which as you can tell by the recent lack of blog posts, is tough enough with my schedule (more noticeable this time is the lack of a girlfriend who wants to fit in my schedule and go see it, but that’s another story/rant on its own).
As with most animated sequels, I went into this movie not expecting anything terribly earth-shattering. Unlike the Toy Story sequels, I didn’t think that the central message of the story was going to be universally applicable, as it seemed to be more of just a fun sequel, with more of the hilarious immature little yellow minions that mostly stole the show in the first one.
And to be honest, I was basically spot on. This movie is pretty much The Santa Clause 2. It’s very predictable and nothing terribly heart-tugging or emotional, but still a very enjoyable ride. Illumination Entertainment recognized how popular the minions had become after the first film, and added more of them in the second. It wasn’t an overkill though, it seemed that they struck a good balance between their goofy antics and the rest of the characters, plus advancing the plot along. However, a spin-off movie entitled Minions is planned for December 2014, which will feature these adorable characters even more.
Despicable Me 2 picks up where the first left off, with Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), continuing on raising his three adoptive daughters while balancing his seemingly retired super-villain image. Meanwhile, at the arctic circle, a chemical compound is stolen that is capable of transforming any living thing into an indestructible, crazed monster. The Anti-Villain League abducts Gru one day to attempt to persuade him and his seeming change-of-villainous heart to go undercover and figure out who could have possibly been the thief of the compound. He flatly declines at first, but after realizing that he could go back to using cool gadgets and some persuasion from his girls, he takes the job, and is partnered up with an AVL agent named Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig). Unbeknownst to Gru, his minions are also disappearing slowly but surely as well, as his daughters push him to find himself a wife or at least a girlfriend. All of these plot lines are easy to follow, and lead to one main, fun, but rather predictable conclusion.
To summarize, Despicable Me 2 is an adorable, fun, and funny movie. It isn’t anything terribly ground breaking or new and emotionally tugging, but it’s an enjoyable ride, especially if you’re under the age of 12, or with someone who is and is giggling uncontrollably at some of the minion’s antics. It’s a good matinée movie, fun for kids and adults alike, and an entertaining installment in the series. Overall, I’d give it a……………..7/10