Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Despicable Me 2

Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.
2013. Rated PG, 98 minutes.
Miranda Cosgrove
Elsie Fisher
Dana Gaier

Our lovable bad guy Gru (Carell) has gone straight. With the help of Dr. Nefario (Brand) and the Minions, he's now a jam manufacturer. Of course, he's also a doting father to the three girls he adopted in the first movie. Soon, Lucy (Wiig) from the Anti-Villain League comes calling. They want his help catching the latest super-villain on the loose. Whoever it is has a serum that turns any living creature into an uncontrollable raging beastly version of themselves. At first, Gru turns them down. However, business isn't going so well and Dr. Nefario quits due to sheer boredom. Gru takes the job.

With Gru's relationship with the girls now firmly established, he spends more time on regular daddy stuff. This includes trying to ward off any boys that dare come near. That means a good chunk of his focus is on oldest daughter Margo (Cosgrove) and the boy she makes googly eyes with. Watching our hero try to get between them and/or keep them from anywhere near each other is where most of Gru's humor comes from. Most of the movie's heavy lifting in the comedy department comes from the Minions. They disappear for stretches at a time, but when they return they give us a few giggles and move along.

Overall, the movie is pretty typical stuff. It's not as fresh, therefore, not as endearing as its predecessor. This is much more of a sitcom plot mixed with a film about a bumbling spy (Gru). There are a number of potential villains on the loose. Most were a little off-putting, at least for me. They tend to be molded from the same stereotypes skewered by Kick-Ass 2, which I watched very recently. This detracted a bit from the fun. The kids watching may not notice this. Still, it's a bit troubling. It doesn't help that these are all one note characters, not as well-rounded as similar ones in Turbo. All that said, it's still a decent watch, particularly funny when the Minions let loose.

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