The minions and their not-so-fearless leader are back for another adventure. The safety of the world is at stake and it’s up to them, along with some new friends, to save the day. Review of Despicable Me 2 after the jump. [Please don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen the first Despicable Me film(which you should, because it’s great fun)]
The days of being one of the world’s most evil villains are long gone for Gru (voiced by Steve Carrall). He has completely turned his life around since adopting the three girls, and he has new, more family friendly ways of spending his days. While he is happy being a dad, there are still villains out in the world committing crimes and being evil. Who better to catch a villain than a former villain? Gru is approached by the Anti-Villain League (AVL)to help track down a powerful new super-villain, and recover the dangerous serum they have stolen. While he initially wants nothing to do with the AVR, Gru is eventually convinced to help the group – this is partly due to his interest in the energetic and cheerful AVL officer, Lucy (voiced by Miranda Cosgove).
Minions. Despicable Me 2 is all about the minions. They run this show and they provide the bulk of the humour in the film; at least the humour that the younger audience members connected with. The kids in the audience I saw this film with absolutely loved the cheeky yellow folk. They laughed, the cheered, they imitated the sounds they made and they left the cinema going on and on about how funny and cute they were. While I found the minions quite amusing, it was the dry quips spoken by Gru which tickled my funny bone. This is a character well versed in speaking exactly what is on his weird and wonderful mind. Carrell’s humour comes through enough to give Gru a great spark, but not so much that it overwhelms the character.
A large part of the film is driven by Gru’s attraction to Lucy, and the girls’ wish to have a mother. I didn’t particularly enjoy this aspect of the film. It’s a story we’ve heard many times before, and it wasn’t done particularly interestingly or different here. In a society where nuclear families are only one of many different types of families, this story-line felt dated. Tracking down the super-villain was the far more enjoyable and fun story-line.
The animation in Despicable Me 2 is significantly better than that in the first film. There is no doubt that the budget was considerably larger in this film due to the earlier film’s massive success. Pharrell is back with another energetic score, and there are a couple of catchy Pitbull songs used to quite good effect. All in all, this film is a crowd-pleaser. The target audience will laugh at the fart jokes and array of wacky sounds made by the minions; while the older members in the audience should be sufficiently entertained by the energetic and often silly film.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Writer(s): Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul
Starring: Steve Carell, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand
Runtime: 98 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: June 20 2013; USA: July 3 2013; New Zealand: July 4 2013