Despicable Me came out of no where in 2010 and shocked audiences around the world, becoming a smash hit. I had no expectations going into it, but left quite pleased with the film. The film had a shocking amount of heart, and it created one of the more iconic film characters in recent memory with the minions. Despicable Me was funny, cute, and entertaining, making it a surprise box office smash with a pretty positive reaction all around. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who really didn’t like the fim. The push for a sequel was only a matter of time. It’s finally here, and it shows off a lot more comedy chops as it focuses primarily on the minions, but by doing this, the heart and grace from the first one is practically all forgotten.
We catch up with Gru who is a full time dad now, retiring from his life as a villain. He focuses on taking care of his girls, with duties such throwing on a pretty extravagant birthday party for Agnes keeping him plenty busy. This relaxed lifestyle isn’t for long, as Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League, who ironically need Gru’s help. Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) an AVL agent leads the recruit for Gru, and serves as his love interest. They need Gru because someone stole a secret laboratory that contains a mutating chemical compound that can transform any living thing into unbeatable killing machines. They need Gru to come to their side and help find just who is behind the scheme. Gru is conflicted on helping out the AVL, until he spots someone who reminds him of a fellow villain and begins getting curious. His interest on the case wanes back and forth until he begins to fall for Lucy, and the suspects son begins to find a romantic interest it Gru’s daughter, Margo. Gru is fully in after this.
This sets up the Minions role in the film, and its a big one. I love the minions and do find them quite hysterical, but as it usually is with things, less is more. They get almost as much screen time as Gru, which shouldn’t surprise, as the creators know that they’re the main draw to this series. This is fine to a point, but it takes away from the story of Gru and his family, who are really just background characters for most of the film, which I was pretty bummed to see. You do get to see a romance develop between Gru and Lucy, which is nice, due to the rapport and chemistry between Carrell and Wiig, who are perfect combo. Don’t get me wrong, when the Minions are on, they’re on. There’s plenty to love about them. But Gru’s family is almost an after thought to directing team Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud, and that didn’t feel right.
It’s a fun ride and I did find myself laughing a bunch and enjoyed it overall. It’s missing some of the magic and natural flow that the first film has, but it’s a perfectly fine installment in its own right. It would have fared better with more balance between Gru’s story and the focus on the Minions, but at the end of the day Despicable Me 2 is one of the better animated movies you will find yourself at in the theater this year. This is only the start, as a Minions centered movie is on the way in 2014, and most likely, Despicable Me 3. They got themselves a full on film franchise, so buckle up and get used to it.