Despicable Me 2 Review

 
By 1 Film, Reviews,
Despicable Me 2 Review

It’s been three years since those lovable yellow minions came into the animation world. And they’ve been missed.

The adventure continues with Gru, Margo, Agnes and Edith, as they edge towards becoming a complete family unit – but will all go to plan for this unusual band of misfits?

The plot of Despicable Me 2 follows a villain’s plans for World Domination (I know its been done, but it’s done well in this film). Yet it is the underlining plot, which centres largely on the unconventional family’s happiness and Gru’s newfound fatherhood leading him to attempt to secure a future for the girls, which carries the film. Gru is asked to use his criminal knowledge to help the “Anti-Villain League” find the current super villain who is causing havoc across the globe. However he is less than amused when he’s introduced to his new partner Lucy; a ditsy female spy with great intentions and a fondness for villains. The two are sent undercover to track down the bad guy and his toxic serum, capable of creating killing machines from any organic being he chooses to infect. The two develop a understanding and learn to work together as a team.

Gru and Lucy undercover

Gru and Lucy undercover

Apart form the overall plot of “bad guy gone good”, the film has a few heart warming and comical sub plots, like Margo’s newfound interest in boys (much to the distress of Gru). However the film is carried mainly by minion based puns. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is pretty clear what the marketing department are primarily focused on, with a spinoff film centred around the minions due in December  2014 and a huge amount of collectibles of these tiny yellow fellows shortly available in stores. You’re bound to love or hate these funny little guys before the year is out.

The Minions

The Minions

The animation is great. With the sheer volume of characters and quick morphs you get a real sense of the hard work, and possibly enjoyment, from the rigging and texturing department.

The voice talent provided by Steve Carell is another feature that adds to the overall appeal of the film. Carell is able to alter his performance to that of classic super villain, with little evidence of his own voice. The voice acting is unlike any of his live action characters created with a real understanding of the cool and collected personality needed for this unlikely hero.

The film works well on it’s own, and despite minor hints to the previous film,  there are no real problems with understanding the story or connection between characters if you haven’t yet seen the original. I could only suggest that perhaps you are more sympathetic and engaged with the characters, knowing how they started out together in the previous film. At the heart of this film is a story about a family learning to live together and a villain-turned superhero Dad trying to do the best for his children as well as improving his own lot in life.

despicable-me-2-gru-edith-agnes-margo-600x324

Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes

The film has, of course, been realised in 3D, but isn’t greatly helped or hindered by this. There is some nice use of the 3D element early in the film, but this is forgotten about half way through (often the case in 3D features) and picked up rather lazily by the end credits, in a long and rather drawn out skit involving the minions.

The new film is on a very similar vein to the last; neither better or worse than the previous film, but is still entertaining for the whole family.

If you liked the first movie you’ll enjoy the second; it’s smart, funny and incredibly warm. This film, like the first, didn’t have much of a build up so it is surprising but nice to just enjoy a film with no pre-conceptions.

Despicable Me 2 is set to be released in UK cinemas on June 28.

About the Author

Stop-Motion Animator based in The UK; my work often combines Stop-motion with digital techniques. I’m in love with animation and I think it at least likes me.


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