Film Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)

‘Despicable Me’ told the story of relentless villain Gru (Steve Carell) whose super-bad status was thrown into jeopardy by rival villain Vector.

With an army of minions (small, yellow, hyperactive accomplices to his ventures) Gru devised his greatest heist yet – to steal the moon, and adopted three orphans that frequented Vector’s house as an attempt to encroach on his plans. But Gru got more than he bargained for as Margo, Edith and Agnes became smitten with their new-found father figure who in turn struggled to adjust to life as a parent and a sudden infiltration of ballet lessons, unicorns and bed-time stories. When it came to choosing between caring for the girls or completing his evil ploy Gru had the girls returned to the orphanage, but soon realised his reciprocated love for them. He raced to their dance recital only to find that they had been kidnapped by Vector, which caused him to recruit the minions and victoriously save the girls, before readopting them and living happily ever after (with the minions too, of course!).

So what was it about ‘Despicable Me’ that immersed so many viewers? Was it the girls’ adorable admiration for Gru? Perhaps it was Gru’s sharp transformation from super-bad to super-dad? Was it the adorable yet hilarious minions or the sickly-sweet happy ending? The answer is of course that everything about the brainchild ‘Despicable Me’ led to its phenomenal success and ultimately to a follow-up film being released just three years later, with said film having a whole lot to live up to and particularly ‘minions’ of viewers to please.

‘Despicable Me 2’ differs largely from the original film in terms of its opening as it introduces the new Gru: ex-villain and devoted father to not only his hundreds of minions but his three loving girls too. The story begins with Gru’s harmonious family life being interrupted by an anti-villain team who thrust him further towards the better side of the law by forcing him to track down the latest destructive villain alongside undercover agent Lucy Wilde. Gru and Lucy (Kristin Wiig), who make a humorous duo, open a bakery together to use as a base as they scout for villains. Even this early on in the story, the second film lives up to the first in terms of comic visuals, examples including Gru posing spectacularly as a fairy princess before the anti-villains invade, and the lovable minions acting more foolishly and more mischievously than ever.

Margo, Edith and Agnes eventually meet Gru’s partner-in-fighting-crime Lucy, and little Agnes becomes especially enthralled with the idea of Gru falling in love with her. However, Gru persists that their relationship is strictly professional. Aside from suspecting a Mexican restaurant owner named Eduardo Perez who manages to cleverly cover his tracks, Gru and Lucy’s quest is inconclusive and Lucy is reassigned to Australia. Only then does Gru realise that Agnes was right – he has fallen for Lucy. She is the missing piece in his almost-perfect puzzle. As if heartbreak isn’t bad enough, changed Gru then learns that Eduardo Perez has stolen his beloved minions and this time embarks on a hectic quest to save them from being systemically mutated into aggressive purple monsters.

There are countless more comedy moments as Gru encounters an inexplicably funny chicken with a vendetta against him, and as Lucy realises that she loves Gru back whilst envisaging his distinct face everywhere she looks on board her flight. The minions make the gullible errors that lead to their kidnap and ultimately become funnier and more adorable in the process. I won’t reveal any more in terms of plot for fear of ruining such a brilliant sequel, but I have to stress that this film will not disappoint you and in my opinion is actually better than the first. It is funnier, cuter and sweeter. Somewhere between previously-evil Gru transforming fully into a soppy loved-up family man and the minions upping their game even further as they hilariously perform boy-band songs, an absolutely brilliant animated film sequel is born. To suggest that it is anything less than that would be… well, despicable!

MY RATING:

5-5

1 thought on “Film Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)”

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