If you have your expectations set on astronomical, like I did, for the highly anticipated sequel to Despicable Me, what you will find is the trap that most films run into. They were simply unable to replicate the masterpiece. The story sets out with Gru sustaining as a fairly low key and committed single dad who's traded his villain status for the manufacturing of jellies and jams. Meanwhile, his old lifestyle inevitably catches up to him when a new ominous mission falls into his lap. Contrarily, he's been recruited by the AVL (the Anti Villan League) and reluctantly assigned a sidekick. Gru rebounds into action but this time it's to save the world. And, figuring out just who's responsible for the colossal sized mischief brewing, is gauging up to be more baffling than he anticipated.
It's not that Despicable Me 2 is a bad film. Looking around in the theater there were apparently more adults in attendance than children. DM2 was successfully able to produce a lot of new comedic lines that are still as equally entertaining for adults as they are for youngsters. For instance, Steve Carell's voice over performance for Gru, doesn't disappoint with a few hilarious one liners. My favorite one is when Lucy (voiceover by Kristen Wiig) is hallucinating that Gru is a baby in his mother's arms who looks at her and says, "I just did a Boom Boom!" Elise Kate Fisher, as Agnes, is almost as funny and adorable as she was before, and the mischievous, jovial Minions were amusing especially in the song sequence towards the end of the movie. The other familiar and outstanding bonus is the soulful Pherrell Williams' contribution to the sound track. Mr. William's hit "Fun fun fun!" song in the original soundtrack, was surprisingly outdone by his new recording, "Happy." It really does make you feel happy! While it was playing, I looked around the theater, to see almost all the kids and many parents rocking in their seats. I found this to be one of the only elements of DM2 that surpassed DM1.
This film's challenge is that the first Despicable Me was so good! The writing was excellent. All the scenes no matter how quirky and seemingly unrelated all worked together harmoniously. It was consistently funny. And, the plot was strong: Gru tries to exploit three little orphan girls to help him swipe a shrink-ray from Vector to steal the moon; and instead he falls in love with them and gives up his life of crime for that of a family man. In DM2, I think the plot was a little too busy. Gru's undercover for the AVL with his new sidekick Lucy, trying to find out who in the mall is posing as a shop owner and up to no good. Meanwhile, he's heavily distracted by Margo who's discovered boys. Under his nose half of his Minions are disappearing, and he's having terrible luck with dating. Plus, we all know that the beyond hilarious Kristen Wiig, and the award winning Benjamin Bratt are more than capable of wonderful performances. However, combined, they didn't measure up to Jason Segel's Vector character (Gru's rival villain) in the initial film.
Despicable Me 2 is still an adorable flick for kids, it's just not an incredible nor memorable work of art. Also, it lacks enough consistent humor and content to simultaneously really captivate us grownups.
From WhatTOSeePG.com, the blog that supplies an adult's and a child's opinion of G and PG rated movies, I give this film 3.5 out of 5 Skittles!
Planning to be in the Brooklyn, NY area on July 27th, 2013? The Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, located at: 650 Fulton Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11217, is holding their 2013 Children's Health Fair raising health awareness. I'll be there among the exhibitors with my children's book: Qualities, that promotes confidence & self-esteem. Expect fun, freebies, education and entertainment for the kids!