Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2

Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Writers: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul

Voice Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Moises Arias, Nasim Pedrad, Kristin Schaal, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Nickolai Stoilov

Synopsis: Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and mild action

Another fairly decent film for the whole family...hooray?

Maybe I'm in the minority here saying this, but I honestly don't get it. Seriously, how can "Despicable Me 2" become one of the biggest movies of this summer? Granted, it helps that it had almost no competition during it's initial release other than "The Lone Ranger." However, the sad reality is this film suffers from some of the same follies as it's prequel did.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "Despicable Me 2" is a bad film, as I certainly liked it alot. But, it would be extremely naive to say that this movie is perfect by any means. Like the last film, it seems like visual animated effects to show off the 3-D animation forces the story to take a back seat again. Granted, the visuals are very impressive to look at on the big screen, as they literally pop out at you; especially at the end when the minions are joking around, to promote their spin off film coming soon.

Needless to say, the visuals and animation in this film are very well detailed. As for the story, I wouldn't go out of my way to say it's terrible, but it's tragically predictable and formulaic for my tastes. Granted, most animated films for families and kids are often cliched and predictable, as it's the nature of the beast. Having said all that, I can forgive that as long as the characters are likable, and somewhat interesting. In the case of "Despicable Me 2", that's definitely the case here.

If there's one thing that this film gets right is that the characters are very colorful, and entertaining to watch. Granted, their story arcs are lame, and predictable, but they're so likable and funny that you can easily forgive those faults.

Like the last film, "Despicable Me 2" has a great voice cast that's funny to watch on the big screen, and they have a lot of great chemistry together. Heck, even the kids are entertaining, and this is coming from a guy that finds most children, in family movies, annoying as sin. However, I did thoroughly enjoy this movie a lot.

Before I go even further with this review, I should address an issue that's been plaguing this film recently. Since "Despicable Me 2" was released, many people in the Latino community have complained that the movie is a bit racist because it featured a villain that happened to be Mexican.

Look, I'm not going to pretend that I know everything about racism, but I will say that speaking as a person who's one quarter hispanic that I honestly didn't find "Despicable Me 2" offensive at all. If anything, I would tend to wonder about anyone's credibility for calling "Despicable Me 2" a bad film just because it's villain happens to be Mexican. Seriously, who cares what his ethnicity is? It's not like the film was saying all Hispanics and Mexicans are evil. No, it was just that one guy who just happened to be Mexican.

Seriously, are people going to complain that white people are vilified too just because a villain like Lex Luthor was white in the previous "Superman" films? Look, I'm not saying racism isn't an issue to be taken seriously, but there is such a thing as being too overly sensitive about an issue as well. At the end of the day, "Despicable Me 2" didn't vilify any race. No, it merely told a funny story with memorable characters. Nothing more or less. Having said all that, let's move on with the review.

As for the story, it essentially picks up where the last one left off. Gru (Steve Carell) is out of the villain game, as he's now in the business of making his own brand of jellies and jams for a living; while still trying to be a lovable father to his three adopted girls.

However, an evil super villain emerges that could destroy the world as we know it, so the anti villain league seeks help from the former villain, Gru, who became infamous for his heist of the moon during the last movie. Reluctant at first, Gru inevitably ends up joining this anti villain league, and he's quickly partnered with a girl named Lucy (Kristen Wiig).

Meanwhile, his oldest daughter, Margo, is going through puberty, and seems to be taking an interest in boys. Oh joy...I can see where this is going. And like all family comedies, we see Margo become smitten by a boy her age, which sends Gru into a frenzy for obvious reasons. Boy, this film is nothing if not insanely predictable.

And let's not forget about Agnes' predictable story arc of her wanting a mom...aww...isn't that so cute? She wants a mommy. Oh and it also turns out that Gru's neighbor keeps wanting to fix him up on dates too. Why she's obsessed with the idea of fixing him up is never explained but for plot convenience, we'll just have to roll with it. Meanwhile Gru and his new partner end up spending a lot of time together on screen. Gee, I wonder how this will end up.

As I stated before, the animation is great, and it's very creative to say the least. And, I like how it had something of an old school "James Bond" feel to it mixed in with the same style of the previous film.

Unfortunately, the story is extremely predictable, and unless you've never seen a movie in your life, then chances are you know exactly how this film will end after watching the first thirty minutes of "Despicable Me 2."

But, the characters are enjoyable to watch, and the minions are funny as well. Although the jokes involving the minions do distract from the main plot at times, they're still entertaining to watch nonetheless.

Overall, if you loved the previous "Despicable Me" movie, then chances are you'll probably love this movie, and should definitely see it in theaters. And if you like watching movies in 3-D, then you'll definitely get your money's worth.

However, if you're like me, and you just find the first film to be just okay, then I'd probably just wait to see the film on DVD/Blue-Ray. Granted, the visuals are impressive to see in 3-D, but the story is so cliched and predictable that it doesn't really make it worth going out to see it in theaters. In the end, I'll give this film a two and a half out of four. It's not a great movie by any means, but it's definitely entertaining to watch.

Happy Music Video starring the Minions

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