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The charming qualities of the first Despicable Me are still present in its sequel, Despicable Me 2. In some ways, it’s funnier than its predecessor. While the movie suffers slightly from some annoying stereotypes, that doesn’t stop it from being adorable or entertaining.

The Players:

  • Director: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
  • Writers: Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul
  • Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan,
  • Original Music by: Heitor Periera, Pharrell Williams

Plot Synopsis:

Some time has passed since Gru (Carell) began his life as a good man and father to three little girls. But he misses the adventure that his life as a villain once brought him. He’s given the opportunity to save the world and become part of the good guys, while being lured back to his dark roots. Gru has two choices: Save the world or succumb to his villainous ways.

The Good:

  • The Comedy: Sometimes it’s difficult to find an animated film that’s kid-friendly and entertaining enough for adults. Despicable Me 2 leans towards slapstick comedy, and its physical humor works great for youngsters. There’s also some dialogue that’s sure to get chuckles out of the audience. Some of the best scenes feature the Minions and the mysterious El Macho.
  • Charming Story: A lot of what made the first Despicable Me memorable was the heart within the story. We saw Gru go from second-rate villain to unexpected father. Once again he’s dealing with the difficult decision of being good or evil. It’s a little overplayed at this point, but is still relevant considering the situation he’s in. There are a lot of small character moments in the film as Gru, and his partner in the crime Lucy, turn into much better people than they could’ve imagined. It’s a sweet story about Gru finding love, and will charm the pants off you!
  • The Music: While some of the score is essentially recycled from the first movie, the music still works. It feels light and energetic which fits with the zany adventures that Gru and his kids get into.

The Decent:

  • Too Much Minion Time: Don’t get us wrong, we love Gru’s Minions. Those yellow guys are as cute as can be, but they pull focus from the main story. They’re eventually integrated into the gist of the climax, but they work better in the background. At the same time, a good chunk of their scenes are so hilarious it makes you forget they’re stealing the spotlight away from the primary characters.
  • El Macho: There’s nothing particularly wrong with the former super villain Gru discovers, other than how he’s portrayed. Between El Macho and the Chinese hairstylist Floyd, we’re being slathered in thick and slightly offensive stereotypes. It’s done in good fun, but there are a lot more to these ethnicities than how they dress, eat or how outrageous their accents can be. 

Overall:

The Minions may have taken too much screen time, but Despicable Me 2 is still enjoyable to watch. It’s a pretty solid family film that both kids and adults will like.

Rating: 7.5/10

Despicable Me 2 opens in theaters July 3 and is presented in 2D and 3D.

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Trailer:

Will you be seeing Despicable Me 2 this holiday weekend?