Rant and Rave: ‘Despicable Me 2’

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

After he inadvertently made a family in his attempt at an ‘out of this world’ robbery, Gru (Steve Carrell) has left villainy behind to care for his three lovely daughters and make a living as a seller of funny-tasting jelly instead. Meanwhile, everyone thinks it’s about time the new father meets a lady friend. One day, Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) arrives at his driveway, tasering him off to the Anti-Villain League headed by Silas Ransbottom (Steve Coogan), hoping to get his help in capturing the mastermind of an impending super crime involving a mutation serum capable of transforming anything – explaining the purple promotional Minions – into an all-devouring monster of such color.

Why would it not be a good idea to watch a second Despicable Me movie when the first one, with its funny and surprisingly endearing story, was able to provide audiences a lot of laughs and warm-heartedness? From delightful to huge, the ‘Despicable world’ has also been wildly sensational; it was an enduring, charming meme to exclaim, “It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” whilst holding a beloved trinket unicorn. And as of 2013, the popularity and desire to carry one’s own little Minion, courtesy of McDonald’s, could never be unseen.

The Minions, or what seem to be little yellow capsules in overalls and a goggled eye or two, are Gru’s army of assistants also working part-time as Illumination Entertainment’s biggest moneymakers. More than a year prior to the movie’s release, a trio of Minions singing a Beach Boys hit with the words “banana” and “potato” displayed Despicable Me’s entertainment value and infectious merriness, features screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio evidently enjoy generating, and was exercised enough between one mundane thing and another. Unfortunately, for the monumentally human side, the movie failed to make an impression.

Amidst the abundance of funny, one will have to seek for the brilliance in the new plot, which was set to take Gru on new adventures that he would treasure, and with him, we shall once again feel blissful. But the crime of the story’s development is, of course, not in its priorities, but in the way it’s told, as if it serves genres rather than its characters. As a result, it’s not as precious or personal.

Lucy, a skillful redhead and Gru’s new partner and love interest, could easily be one of her voice’s Bridesmaids girlfriends – apparently, Kristen Wiig’s involvement was not only in performing, but also in the conceptualization of her character. As expected, she does well and is hilarious, but falls victim to an underworked story.

On the other hand, the new bad guy El Macho was inadequate to go head to head with Gru. Although Benjamin Bratt couldn’t be any more perfect to vocally portray him, as a villain, El Macho against Gru doesn’t inspire a marvelous contest like the one witnessed in the first movie where the intelligence was massive enough to shake the world. Nonetheless, the best moments of Gru-agitation arises from his concern for his daughters – there is something irresistible about this mad, idiosyncratic, but very caring man.

Despicable Me is still an interesting project in animation. Pharrell Williams (now with Heitor Pereira) reprises his work of doing the film score, and his songs (most of which he performed himself), in its tasteful arrangement, flawlessly go with the whole thing. And even though the Minions were overplayed in marketing, their representation as henchmen remains loveable, in part for their cuteness, but more for their celebratory behavior at work. In fact, they’ll have a movie of their own set to be released December 2014.

It would be felonious to deny how enjoyable Despicable Me 2 is, but it’s not as memorable, or as beautiful, as that other animated film you might have seen prior.

Rating: 2.0
Andrea Mendoza

By Andrea Mendoza

16 replies on “Rant and Rave: ‘Despicable Me 2’”


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