Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Movie Review: Despicable Me 2
Recommended For: All Ages
Rating: PG (rude humor and mild action)
Gru, his adorable girls, and the mischievous Minions are back with a cast of unforgettable new characters in the blockbuster sequel to the worldwide phenomenon. Just as Gru has given up being super-bad to be a super-dad, the Anti-Villain League recruits him to track down a new criminal mastermind and save the world. Partnered with secret agent Lucy Wilde, Gru, along with the wildly unpredictable Minions, must figure out how to keep his cover while also keeping up with his duties as a father. Assemble the Minions for laugh-out-loud comedy in "one of the funniest, most enjoyable movies ever!" (MovieGuide)
When my family first got Despicable Me from Netflix awhile back, we didn't expect to like it. After all, the previews weren't that great. But we ended up greatly enjoying it. Then we heard how good the sequel was and got it from the library. I personally don't think it was quite as good as the first one, but as far as sequels go it was really good. Some sequels are terrible, don't even get me started on Mulan 2, but Despicable Me 2 wasn't. (Though, really, can't people think of a better title than simply adding "2" onto the first one?)
Despicable Me 2 was a well-made film. The animation was good, the voice acting was good, it was well written, and hilarious. Parts of it had me doubled up on the couch laughing. It wasn't entirely unpredictable, but it wasn't like Mulan 2 where the entire movie was predictable. And the writers didn't try to simply recreate the first film, but truly moved the characters forward. However, I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had had more of a refresher on the first movie than "Let's see, that was about the guy who stole the moon and adopted three girls as part of his scheme, but ended up trying to be their dad."
I'm not really sure what to say about the setting, but it suited the movie. It isn't exactly realistic, but it was perfect for a comedy superhero/supervillain animated film. I do like the area under Gru's house where the minions are. It's pretty cool, even when full of jelly-making equipment.
Like I said, it wasn't entirely unpredictable. It was pretty easy to guess, from the number of people trying to play matchmaker for Gru, that it would have a wedding ending, and it wasn't hard to pick out the girl. Nor was it difficult to predict that Gru would join the Anti-Villain League despite his initial reaction to them. (I didn't read any descriptions before watching the movie.) However, there were twists that weren't entirely foreseen. And it's comedy. It doesn't need to keep you anxiously on the edge of your seat wondering if they're going to survive. If you're on the edge of your seat, it's probably because you were laughing so hard you ended up not sitting properly anymore. It was an enjoyable story overall.
Character Development: 5/5
The characters were consistent with the original film, and each very unique. Gru didn't reset. He's still a reformed villain who is doing his best to raise three girls, but does not always quite succeed in squashing his old tendencies. It's also obvious he really cares about the girls, and wants to protect them. Margo has started being interested in boys, which really freaks out Gru, and he spends a good bit of time trying to keep her away from them. There's even one scene where Gru insists a certain character is the villain they're looking for, but the son (who Margo likes) is the one who they really have to watch out for, the one they have to get. Lucy Wilde was also a well-developed character, though rather eccentric. I wasn't crazy about her at first, but she grew on me and I liked her quite well by the end. The girls were still the same, and, of course, there is plenty of the minions.
Despicable Me 2 was an enjoyable, funny movie, and I recommend it for fun family movie nights.