Despicable Me 2 – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

desDespicable Me 2 – 3.5/5 – Animated films; they are a dime a dozen.  So many of these films come out and hit us with a plethora of fun imagination characters and stories that entertain us.  Even in the simplistic notion in how the film develops, it is fun to watch the magic happen on screen.  What all this boils down to for this movie is that this is one that is more than just another animated film.  It is one that digs deep to show us that fun and excitement can have sense of modesty.  Despicable Me 2 is a film that, even with a lot of cliché elements, develops a string of fun and laughter that, you will not be disappointed.

Premise: In this sequel, we see as Gru has moved on from being a villain and is living a life of simplicity. While this is what he wants, it all turns upside down when he is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.  As Gru is set forth upon this mission, he must learn the value of fatherhood, as well as the purpose of love.

In this film, the main character Gru is voiced by comedian, Steve Carell.  In this role, he reprises a role for a character who we are all too familiar with.  He is an arrogant but lovable guy, who wants to be left with his own life to enjoy with his daughters.  This time, he isn’t a villain anymore, as he has changed his life.  Even for this change, he still has that rambunctious and volatile aura around himself, which makes Gru’s interaction and dialogue funny, heartfelt and pleasing.  Gru is someone that is layered with being a smart, devious man, but one that always knows when to do the right thing.  From his is conversation with others as well as his outbursts, you feel attached to him throughout this film.  As mentioned above, he has daughters, three of them.  The three girls consist of Margo (Miranda Cosgove), Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher) and Edith (Dana Gaier).  These three are fun, lovable girls, who are portrayed with the same kind of antics of typical girls in real life.  They have the same emotions and frills that all girls have, and act emotional when things get rough.  Their interactions with Gru are timeless, as they are humorous and cute when talking with their ‘father’.  In the supporting cast, you have Lucy (Kristen Wig), EL Macho (Benjamin Bratt), Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and Silas (Steve Coogan) to name a few.  These characters are funny and delightful on screen, and help provide depth to both Gru’s lifestyle, as well as the overall plot.  Even if they aren’t characters you become attach to, they entertain with value.  Also part of the supporting cast are the minions.  The minions are basically the soul of this film, as they are so hilarious, they will make you cry watching them and their antics with how they are portrayed in the film.

The direction is one that follows the simple premise of sequels; character progression from the first > new conflict introduced > save the world scenario.  The film picks up with Gru, moving on from being a villain from the first film, and learning to being a father and a legit businessman.  As mentioned, he isn’t a villain anymore, and wants nothing more than to just be a role model for his daughters.  Also introduced is the progress of Gru’s character, as we look as how he has ‘women’ issues.  After the introduction to the Gru and his progress from the first film, the movie moves forward with introducing the conflict.  The AVL (Anti Villain League) recruits Gru to catch someone who has stolen a dangerous formula from the government.  He is task to find out who at the local mall is harboring this formula.  From the AVL, he is partnered with one of their agents, Lucy.  From here it is a slew of witty dialogue, funny situations and comical moments that make the film entertaining for both adults and children.  As the film progresses into the second act, we see how that ‘character progress’ of woman problems arises with Gru, as a ‘connection’ happens between Gru and Lucy, as well as themes of fatherhood; parenting and relationships are enveloped around this development.  The themes are introduced through a mix of smart dialogue, situational close-ups and story-esque moments that make you feel the ‘heart’ of the film.   The one mark of an animated film is to make you care about the characters, and for the most part, this movie does it very well.  Once the film leads into the third act, we are lead into a climax that threads through convenient plot devices, a cliché ‘hero vs. villain’ setup, and the ‘ever after’ ending.  Even for this common tie up at the end, there is a musical sequence that will bring you back in that is both charming and sincere.

The visuals of the film are a combination of cartoonish looks, and realism aspects.  The irony of this mix is how well the expression of the characters is, as well as the creations of Gru’s house, his lab, the mall and the overall world.  The colors of the film are vibrant, helping draw you in as the ‘sweeping’ aspect of the environment is both encapsulating and inventive.  The score of the film is both commonplace and warming.  The moments when some of the music play are on point, making you feel some kind of emotions.  There are also times when it just feels all too convenient, bringing a predictable sense to the scene.

Overall, even for a basic setup, cliché moments and commonplace for many animated techniques, Despicable Me 2 does well in providing appealing characters and comical moments.  Gru is wonderful, as well as his daughters and the new characters.  Even for everything, the minions are what make this film go.  If you’re looking for a film that you can enjoy, or bring your kids to, this is one to watch on the big screen.

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