Reel Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and mild action
Released in Theaters: July 3, 2013
Genre: Sequel, Animation, Comedy
Runtime: 98 minutes
Directed By: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove
Official Site: Despicable Me 2
I was debating whether or not to write a review for “Despicable Me 2.” I mean, everyone with a kid is going to see it anyway and frankly, who doesn’t love Gru’s minions? The film is already on pace to earn $130 million or more over the five-day holiday weekend.
But then I felt like I had to write it because I’ve been so disenchanted with animated films lately. I don’t know if it’s because there are so many released every year now (remember when animated films were considered “event” films because you saw one, maybe two, releases a year?) or if it’s just the mediocre fare that’s been out there. Perhaps one begets the other, but I was happy to see “Despicable Me 2” didn’t disenchant nor was it mediocre. Even though reputations for sequels are pretty dismal, this one holds its own against the original.
The story brings us back to the home of Gru, now a former master villain and presently a doting dad to his three adopted girls – Margo, Edith, and Agnes. He’s enjoying his life, sidestepping his neighbor’s efforts to set him up on various dates, and he’s even converted his underground villainous factory into a … jelly plant?
Just when he thought he was out, the Anti-Villain League pulls him back into the spy world to help expose an unknown villain who has stolen a top secret serum that can transform any living creature into a killing machine. He’s kidnapped by Agent Lucy Wilde and then ultimately has to work with her to find the villain while still trying to be a parent and slow down the teenage hormone factory between Margo and Antonio, a handsome young boy she meets at the mall where Gru is working undercover.
I rather enjoyed this film. The accent Steve Carell uses to voice Gru just works to bring that character alive. And while the film leans more toward the cutesy and romantic versus the action-destruction of the first one, it’s still charming and fun.
Also, I just can’t get enough of those minions! Can you? They’re short and yellow (which oddly reminds me of my Asian family – ha. It’s okay, I’m allowed to say that. :D) and oh so very cute. I just want to pick up a handful and hug them, and who doesn’t want free labor that is happy to clean your house? Where do I sign up?!
The soundtrack, once again co-produced by Pharrell Williams, features a great little ditty called “Happy.” You can almost see Gru dancing on tippy-toe to this song. Listen to it below and watch the lyric video version here.
The track called “Fun, Fun, Fun” is self-explanatory, and you can’t help but giggle while listening to the minions sing their version of an “Irish Drinking Song.”
It is interesting to note that Benjamin Bratt stepped in at the last minute when Al Pacino exited the film after he had already recorded much of the voice work for the character of Eduardo. Pacino left just two months before the film’s release date, but luckily for the producers (and for Bratt), Benjamin gladly stepped into the role and owned it. I can’t even really picture Mr. Al “Hoo-hah!” Pacino embodying that character.
What did you think of the film? Do you want a minion of your own?