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Title :Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Rating :7.5/10
Release : 10 January 2014
Genre :Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime:
Country:USA
Language:English | Ukrainian
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Writers:Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Stars :Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt

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Despicable Me 2 (2013) trailer

Despicable Me 2 (2013) review

The marketing cats at Universal are not stupid people are they? Despicable Me was nothing more than a slightly above average animated movie, but there was one element of it that captured the imagination of its audience – the Minions. These little yellow creatures created by Gru to serve as the comedy relief became bigger than the movie itself. If anyone ever talked about Despicable Me they would never mention the plot or the main characters, they’d just say, “the Minions were hilarious”.

With this in mind, Universal have put a lot of stock into these little pill-shaped pieces of merchandising glory for the sequel Despicable Me 2. The trailer focused more on them the actual plot of the movie and they’re plastered all over the posters with taglines such as “don’t miss the Minions!”. It makes you wonder why the minions haven’t just been given their own movie.

There is a reason for this – they work best when they are not the focus. Even in Despicable Me 2 where they have more screen time than the previous movie, 75% of the time is spent with the plot and the main characters. Gru (voiced again by Steve Carell) is now trying to adapt to the father role that has been thrust upon him while many of the other mothers in the area try to set him up with their friends. His villainous life is now behind him as he tries to start a brand of jellys and jams to sell, but he is thrown back into the world of ‘good vs. evil’ when the Anti-Villain League to find a stolen Arctic laboratory. He is teamed up with clumsy spy Lucy (Kristen Wiig) as they track down the supposedly dead El Macho (voiced by Benjamin Bratt).

And while there is a plot to the movie and it’s completely serviceable, everyone will be going to see this movie to see what wacky antics the Minions get up to. Well thankfully they do very well in the role their given as they fall over, get hit in the face, catch on fire, blow stuff up and say “bottom” while giggling. They are undoubtedly a highlight of the movie as they’re cute design and clever voice work raises more laughs than most of this year’s comedies with human actors.

But it’s not fair to put all of the success of the movie down to the Minions. There is a theme of single fatherhood running throughout the movie as this former bad guy adapts to looking after three little girls. It’s played up really nicely as he tries to do everything in his power to give the youngest Agnes the perfect birthday as well as protect Margo from the impending disappointment of her first boyfriend. Sadly the latter plot point is quickly forgotten about which was a real shame as it could have led to some really touching moments.

Lucy is a fine addition to the cast of characters but she feels a touch flat. As if she was put in the movie because the writers felt like Gru needed a love interest. Their relationship isn’t really fleshed out to its full potential and it almost would have been nicer to see them not ‘fall in love’. The theme of single-fatherhood is an inherently more interesting plot device, particularly for a kids movie in 2013.

After the lazy disappointment of Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 is a fantastic animated movie that is constantly funny, often touching and a massive amount of fun. It’s a huge step up on the original movie, something that is not always easily done. They took all the best elements of Despicable Me and turned them up to eleven. The jokes are better and the characters are better defined, even if some of their storylines aren’t always perfect.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is still looking to be this year’s best animated movie, but Despicable Me 2 has given it a run for its money.

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