Two movies in and I’m already exhausted. I might not live to see the end of this marathon.
Despicable Me 2 is a perfectly fine follow-up to the first movie. It can sometimes be a bit obnoxious, provided you’re watching this at any age beyond 11 years old, but that’s to be expected. As a kid’s film, it’s okay.
Having put his life of crime behind him, Gru struggles with his greatest challenge ever: being a single father. Just as things seem to be going well, he’s approached by the Anti-Villain League, who wants his help to track down a stolen mutagen called PX-41. Here, he meets Lucy Wilde, his would-be partner. Hijinks and romance ensue.
Like the last movie, the plot of Despicable Me 2 is pretty predictable. However, it doesn’t have the tight focus nor the charming mundanity of the first film. It’s a complicated web of multiple plotlines that eventually all tie back together in a knot.
Sure, it ain’t a pretty knot, but it is a knot.
Gru is still a fairly entertaining protagonist to watch. His arc in this one isn’t nearly as enjoyable, but the charisma given to him by Steve Carell’s performance keeps him from becoming unlikable. His counterpart, Lucy, works well enough for her role. You can tell right from the start that they’ll get together (again, predictable plot) but they have just enough chemistry that you can actually find yourself caring about their relationship.
As for the rest of the cast… once again, they’re fine. A bit grating, but they each fill their role in the story. The girls are once again one-note character traits that make very repetitive jokes. The villain this time around is a step up from Vector in terms of personality, but he’s never really given enough time in the spotlight to actually be a villain until near the end of the film.
Oh, and this is where the Minions start to get real obnoxious. Little kids might still get a laugh or two out of them. But for anyone older, this is where the little yellow pills start to become hard to swallow.
Even ignoring the Facebook memes.
Now, let’s talk animation. Usually, an animated sequel will do something to improve on the visuals from the last film. They might refine the style or simply use the advances in technology to improve the models or environments. Even if it’s something small, like hair quality, there’s usually some improvement.
Despicable Me 2 does not do this. Visually speaking, this movie is basically identical to the first one. It has all the same strengths – the charm, the decent character designs, the environments – but it doesn’t bring anything new. It’s the same thing done again.
Oh, and the music is still lame. More generic orchestral scores or insert songs. Again: that’s going to be every one of these movies.
At least, until we get to Sing. Then I can really get to complain!
Despicable Me 2 is a fine movie. It isn’t particularly interesting, and it can get pretty annoying with some of its humor and characters, but it’s still perfectly watchable. Kids will get a kick out of it, provided they enjoyed the first, but anyone older might get tired of it real fast.
Alright. That’s two down. How many more are there to go?
Oh… Right. We’re not even halfway through all the Despicable Me stuff.
Well… wish me luck.