Review: Despicable Me 2

despicable_me_2_2013_movie-HDDirectors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand


Fast, funny, animated, yet a movie for all ages – what better way to start off the weekend?

Gru (Steve Carell) has definitely evolved as a patriarch, since we last met him. From stealing the moon and adopting orphans, he is now a loving father to Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) Agnes (Elsie Fisher).

In the opening scene of the film, we see Gru hosting a birthday party for Agnes. Sounds normal enough, right? Not quite. Picture this; a muscled, bald ex-super villain all dolled up and dressed in a pink-lacy gown taking on the role of a fairy, sprinkling glitter with a thick, ‘exotic’ accent.

I was sold. The audience was in splits.

But pink gown and fairy glitter alone do not a mother make. One feels a pang, a tug at the heartstrings.

After a mysterious giant magnet steals an entire secret laboratory, near the Arctic Circle, Lucy Wild (Kristen Wiig) of the AVL (Anti-Villain League) ropes in Gru by stunning him with a lipstick taser. The secret laboratory contains PX-41, a mutating chemical compound that could transform living things into indestructible killing machines.

One major plus-point to the Despicable sequel is that Gru’s yellow, gibberish-speaking, goggle-eyed minions were more integral to the plot, as opposed to the original movie.

Reprised as the same bunch of larger than life, eccentric, crazy, fun characters trapped in miniscule bodies, each with multiple-personality disorders of their own, the minions are taken through a sort of Jekyll and Hyde phase after they are injected with PX-41 and continue to tickle viewers in their own ways as little purple goblin-like creatures.

What sets this movie apart other animated movies is that it has characters being transformed from good to evil, instead of the usual other-way-around.

It gets better (for us anyway), as Gru, a former super villain who once stole the moon, an evil master mind whose deeds have been much noticed and appreciated by other super villains, takes up the job offered by the AVL, only to be forced into working as a secret agent at… wait for it… a cupcake shop at the Paradise Shopping Mall.

Partnered with the red-haired Lucy, who seems to be on a sugar high through out the film, Gru, unknowingly starts to fall in love.

The incredibly adorable Agnes (the youngest daughter) definitely hits a soft spot. Gru tells her of his feelings towards Lucy and the rest of the plot builds up to the critical point where Gru and Lucy finally confess their feelings for each other.

Carell and Wiig definitely have chemistry as Gru and Lucy. Carell is as innocuous and goofy as ever with Wiig adding a light-hearted counterfoil to the character Gru’s usual stone-faced demeanour. The jokes are funny and suitable for all ages. Especially the fart jokes, from the minions, that went down really well with the younger crowd. .

All in all, Despicable Me 2 is a feel good, stress-busting watch.

DreamWorks succeeds here. Introducing humour that will make parents and twenty-somethings giggle (at most times laugh out loud) while remaining kid-friendly. However, the plot suffers at times from being overtly predictable. For example, the secret villain is painfully obvious from the get-go.

If one finds no reason to laugh while watching the film, the final scene will floor you. This writer looks forward to the 2014 edition of a spin off focusing on Gru’s minions – we hear it’s called, what else, Minions.

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