In 2010, Despicable Me was a complete success, taking the box office by storm. What shocked me the most is that after its release Despicable Me, especially the minions, became integrated into everything. I heard people saying, “IT’S SO FLUFFY!” all the time and minions are still everywhere. People in my age group (23) even enjoyed the film, so obviously it was an all-around success.
I enjoyed the first movie, but I was skeptical about a sequel as I am with most second installments. I felt as though the first film left no room for a sequel and feared Despicable Me 2 would be a forced, low-quality movie. I even told ssjrem going into the theater that I didn’t think I would laugh. I couldn’t have been more wrong as three minutes into the movie I started cracking up. In some ways, Despicable Me 2 out-shined its predecessor.
Despicable Me 2 did what many sequels fail to accomplish. It built off the solid foundation set by the first film, much like Star Trek: Into Darkness earlier in the summer movie season. Sequels should evolve while maintaining the quality and that’s what happened with Despicable Me 2.
I have to give it to Steve Carell, who is fantastic as Gru in the leading role. On par with Gru, the minions continue to be adorable and funny without uttering an audible word. In short, all of the other returning characters were excellent with Agnes taking the cake. They also added a few new engaging characters, including Lucy (Kristen Wiig) who is pretty much Kristen Wiig.
Another engaging character was El Macho, the main villain of the film. The reason for the spoiler is that you don’t even know if he’s alive until near the end of the movie.
El Macho, his son Antonio and his chicken provided some great laughs.
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I also really enjoyed the animation of this film. Now, I don’t know the intricacies of animation to be able to intelligently talk about it and I didn’t see it in 3D, but it was pleasing to the eyes and very smooth.
I laughed more during Despicable Me 2, and I believe that’s because the humor was a little more adjusted to the adult audience based on the success of the first film.
I wouldn’t say the plot was better. It was just engaging in a different way. Like I said, I feel like there was a better balance between adult humor and child humor. That being said, the story might have been slightly rushed and one plot point made no sense to me, which I will explain below.
Dr. Nefario, who I’m still surprised is voiced by Russell Brand, resigns as Gru’s mad scientist to join another villain, El Macho. Obviously, El Macho ends up being the villain that Gru will have to try to take down later in the movie.
Under the direction of El Macho, Dr. Nefario kidnaps most of Gru’s minions. Now up until this point, we’re fine. However, toward the end of the film El Macho captures Lucy, who becomes Gru’s love interest. Dr. Nefario doesn’t appreciate this latest move from his new boss so he gets back with Gru saying something along the lines of, “I wanted to come up with evil schemes, but nobody messes with our family.”
Well, I take a bit of issue with that line. Wouldn’t you say the minions are a part of the family? So turning most of them into mindless monsters to destroy the world is ok, but when Lucy (a character that has not been in the film long and who Dr. Nefario doesn’t even know) is kidnapped he starts to care?
Basically, Dr. Nefario’s state of mind makes absolutely no sense to me. That’s really the only problem I have with this movie.
END OF SPOILER!!!
THE BOTTOM LINE: Despicable Me 2 was slightly better in every category than the first installment, which was pleasantly surprising. The franchise proved it has engaging characters that can endure over a few sequels.
I’ll give Despicable Me 2 4 out of 5 cups.
Despicable Me 2 vs. Monsters University
I’ve heard some comparisons between the animated sequels, so I figured I’d take a paragraph or two to pin the two against each other.
Despicable Me 2 has already surpassed Monsters University at the box office, and that makes sense. Despicable Me 2 was only three years removed from its original film, while Monsters University is 12 years removed from Monsters Inc.
As far as quality film, I would give the slight edge to Despicable Me 2. Monsters University took a little while to get off the ground before I truly became engrossed in the film. Despicable Me 2 had me from the beginning.
That being said, I recommend both these movies. Monsters University provides a nice nostalgia for people my age, while Despicable Me 2 is another winner in a thriving children’s movie franchise.
As of July 18, Despicable Me 2 made a domestic total of approximately $251 million versus a production budget of $76 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
To see the movie trailer for Despicable Me 2, click here.