Gru is back. Because the first film moved a lot of hearts and a lot of moolah.
Despicable Me 2 picked up where its predecessor left off, showing what the ex-hapless villain Gru is up to after doing the 360 and completely shunning his evil ways. For one, Gru has converted his evil lair into an unnecessarily elaborate production line for bad-tasting jelly, his new found occupation. This while staging the most kick-ass birthday party for his ball of endless cuteness, Agnes, the youngest of his three adopted geerrrls together with Edith and Margo. But of course the many adventures of a full time dad and a new entrepreneur is not a thick enough plot for a sequel. There has to be some bad guy action!! Enter the Anti Villain League (AVL), who send their new agent Lucy Wilde to recruit (tase and kidnap) the reformed Gru. The goal: to catch the villain who has stolen a mutagen that can transform the most adorable creatures to mindless killing machines. Why Gru? Because as an ex-villain, he is expected to know exactly how to catch one. Still sound like a thin plot? Well throw in a blind-dating side story, a girl-phobia back story, a dash of spunk from the flexible and fumbling Agent Wilde, a presumed dead macho villain and his smexy accent, his douchebag Latino-Justin Beiber son, and large doses of pranks and musical vignettes care of the hilarious minions. It looks a little bit like this:
I can honestly say that Despicable Me 2 is not necessarily better or even as good as Despicable Me 1. As the list of subplots above should tell you, I felt like they tried to stir in too much in the pot. Even the minion scenes–though punch-my-belly kind of funny–felt like they needed to have spent more time in the edit phase. The villain plot was predictable and simply unremarkable. I can only surmise that for the most part, the movie failed to focus on the heart of the story, which was exactly the root of the success of the first movie. This sequel tries to make it up for us in the end though with a funny and heartwarming union between Gru and Wilde.
That being said, I still spent majority of the 2-hour run time either crawled on all fours laughing at the minions or cooing at Agnes. If you came in the theater because you loved those characters, the movie will not disappoint. Likewise Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are at the peak of their comedic game as the leads Gru and Wilde, with every word on point. Will there be a third movie? A minion-centered one is being developed as I write, rumor has it. So a third film is looking pretty definite. Will I watch it? Yes. In hopes that it will be more about Gru and his adorable hodgepodge family and less about daredevils strapping themselves in rockets to skydive down the crater of an active volcano.
Photo and video credits to owner.