Friday, July 5, 2013

Despicable Me 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I still want a minion.

Despicable Me 2 - 4 out of 5

I really enjoyed the first Despicable Me.  I thought the story was fun, the minions were hysterical and there was some heart to it that made it incredibly charming.  Did I think a sequel was going to be produced?  Of course, sequels are a big money ticket for animated films.  Does Despicable Me 2 live up to the fun that is the first one?  Most critics don't seem to think so...

I'm not a real critic, however...I just pretend to be one on the internet.

                                                                         Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
That's Rule 34 at the door.  Run, little guy, run!

Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions are no longer villains (but you knew that part) and the man is settling into a life as a father to his three adopted kids; Margo, Agnes and Edith. However, life starts to intervene in a unique way when an organization out to stop super-villains requests the aid of Gru to help them locate a villain in his hometown. Gru teams with Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and starts to investigate, all the while he deals with the troubles of Margo becoming interested in boys and his daughters trying to push him to start dating. If things couldn’t get worse, this new villain starts kidnapping the minions out from under Gru’s incredibly pointy nose.

                                                                         Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
I still want an army of minions.

The critics haven’t found much to like about this film, many citing the lack of humor in it and over reliance on the minions for the laughs—not to mention some have stated the story lacked the heart and fun of the first film. Honestly, all of these are honest complaints that can easily been seen in the film…however, I still had a lot of fun watching it.

                                                                        Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Like, "minion in a wig" fun.

It’s hard for a sequel to live up to the first film and, yes, this movie was made to just cash in on the popularity of the previous movie but that didn’t stop it from being a fun, cute animated film that did it’s job of entertaining the child in me. While the story has some heart to it as we see Gru fall in love and try to bring a mother to his children (an entire essay could be written about how the film is enforcing gender stereotypes and not showcasing how the girls could be living just fine in a single dad home), the film lacked the heartwarming elements of seeing Gru’s icy, super-villain exterior melt thanks to the warmth of a child’s love. I still, though, found it to be pretty touching—not to mention it offered up a little bit of evolution to the character of Gru.

                                                                        Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
A surprisingly accurate metaphor for a relationship.

Since Gru is no longer a bad guy, he had to become something other than a stay-at-home dad. While it may have been obvious to perform the old “switch-a-roo” and make him a hero, the change actually was kind of fun to watch…albeit, not as fun as watching him as a villain learning the error of his ways. The one thing I really enjoyed, however, about the story was seeing Gru deal with the hardships of being a father. The stress of seeing his daughter find interest in boys and try to juggle his new job of being a superhero while being a good dad really made for some amusing moments.

                                                                         Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Like cupcake icing on the face...that is always amusing.  Unless it happens to me.
I don't like messes.

Like I stated before, some have complained that the minions were over utilized for the comedy in the film—I won’t deny that the minions were around to a much bigger degree than how they were used in the first film. Let’s be honest, the minions stole the first movie and left us wanting more…this sequel decided to give us what we asked for. I, for one, couldn’t have seen enough of the minions. I found all their scenes hilarious and freakin’ adorable. I actually could have dealt with more scenes of the little yellow, pill-looking gibber-jabberers. I’m like a crack addict for those guys and their slapstick nonsense they splatter across the screen. Seriously, after the film I was buying minion deleted scenes from a dealer in the alley behind the theater.

                                                                        Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Without a doubt, this part had me laughing the hardest.

Once again, the voice acting in this one is great as Steve Carell continues to make Gru hysterical. Kristen Wiig is a lot of fun as Lucy and Benjamin Bratt shows up as one of the suspects for the super villain that Gru and Lucy are looking for.  All do their jobs wonderfully to bring their characters to life. However, the animation really looked like a step up from the first film and the level of detail that was placed into it was very noticeably improved and probably was the biggest enhancement from the first installment. I’m not saying the first film had bad animation, I’m just saying this one was even better and more detailed.

                                                                         Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Doctor Who has made me paranoid...I have a suspicion she's actually holding
psychic paper and not an actual badge.

Despicable Me 2 was exactly what I was looking for in a sequel to one of my favorite animated movies. Sure, at a quick glance, it’s easy to find fault in it for being an obvious “let’s make some quick cash with a sequel” type of sequel but it didn’t stop it from being fun to watch and very amusing. The film looks good and there are more minions to enjoy!

                                                                         Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Even my review over utilized the minions.

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