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Despicable Me 2 has familiar elements, but is ingenuous and hillarious in its storytelling

Updated on April 16, 2014

Have you ever watched the show White Collar? I watched much of the first two seasons. It was an interesting concept though it wasn't as gripping for me as Burn Notice.

The idea is that an FBI agent starts working with a clever, intelligent thief who he himself had caught and put away. Sort of like how former con man and forge Frank Abagnale Jr. ended up working with security forces to develop many of the fraud protection measures we use each day. (And inspiring the Steven Spielberg movie Catch Me If You Can, which I am sure was his goal all along.)

Anyway, odd digression aside, that concept has legs. I didn't feel that White Collar pulled it off as well as I would have liked it, but Despicable Me 2 shows that it can still be fun.

But first, the story

As the movie opens, we see an outpost in the frozen arctic. Then, in an unspeakably improbable scene, the whole outpost is stolen and carried away.

But what about Gru, you ask?

After the events of the first despicably hilarious movie, the former master criminal Gru (Steve Carell) finds himself the legal guardian of two adorable girls—Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) and Edith (Dana Gaier)—and one unspeakably cute one. In fact, we see him hosting a party for little Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher) and her friends for her birthday. Half a dozen little girls dressed as princesses running around the yard, waiting for a visit from the Fairy Princess.

Later on, however, Gru finds himself gru-napped by Lucy (Kristen Wiig), a woman from the Anti Villain League—an organization dedicated to fighting global crime lead by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan). They would like to recruit Gru to go undercover in a local mall to try to find the mastermind behind the earlier robbery. As a former criminal, he knows how they think.

Along the way, he begins to suspect a few different mall shop owners. There's Eduardo (Benjamin Bratt) who runs Salsa and Salsa, and wig store owner Floyd (Ken Jeong).
Meanwhile, in his personal life, Gru has to deal with the fact that Margo is getting to that age where she might just start being interested in boys, and Agnes feels it's time for Gru to find the sisters a new mommy.

Oh, and some mysterious party keeps kidnapping Gru's minions for some unknown reason.

Dot dot dot

One of the most infectious aspects of the Despicable Me movies would have to be Gru's Minions. They are nearly unintelligible but oddly universal. You really don't need to know what they're saying to understand them. And there's always some gag or other whenever any of them are on the screen. But this time around, they're even more important to the plot.

That being said, the first thing I would probably think of when remembering this movie would have to be just how stinkingly adorable the young Agnes is. Kind of reminds me of Boo from Monsters Inc. only I can understand what she's saying.

As I've said before, it's much more fun to write about and rip on movies that I can actually see serious flaws with. Maybe if I were more picky it would be easier, but I seriously can't think of many drawbacks to point out.

Once again, the movie has plenty of ridiculous nonsense, and if that's not your thing, the constant nonsense could be annoying. But who the heck is going to this movie expecting Citizen Kane? There are also a couple character developments that you can see coming a good way off, but, again, who is going to this movie expecting Citizen Kane? What's up with all you people and Citizen Kane? Are you kidding me?

What I will say is that there's plenty here for you parents to enjoy alongside your kids. There is nearly always a joke playing out at all times. Not all will land, but nor are they all the same kind of joke. Sometimes it's a funny way a character says something simple. Other times it's a visual allusion to a movie that the kids would likely have never seen, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Alien. Then there's the random silliness of all of the minions. There are things around every corner for all to enjoy.

Despicable Me 2 Trailer

But what do you think of the movie?

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Despicable Me 2

Anyway, for me, I would have to give Despicable Me 2 a good 8 / 10.

Despicable Me 2 is rated PG with a couple moments of mildly rude humor and some low level action and 'peril'.


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    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Ok, I'll check it out and see what you are up to today. RJ

    • Garlonuss profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan D Peterson 

      5 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Hey, thanks. I'm a big fan of movies and anything that can be used to tell a good story. I'd be happy to work with you if the right project came up. My drawing is mostly for my own entertainment, but if you want a selection of images I've drawn (and a couple photo manipulations) check out where I post a fair few. Mostly strange creatures because they're more fun to create, but I think I'm getting more nuanced as I go.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      It looks like we both love m0vies in a big way. I purchase almost everything that comes out in 3D and write reviews as they become available. I looked over a half dozen of your HUBS and the Profile and imagine that Clockwork Orange came up as a terrible movie. I always thought of it as something "good" but I caught it on cable about a year ago and it was painful in every respect.

      I loved Despicable Me and look forward to the #2 that you review here. IT was the three orphans that were the charmers in #1 as well as the Princess in Wreck it Ralph. Strong likeable adorable characters will win over most any audience and the directors seem to understand that very well.

      It sounds like you are on the edge of either writing or doing art-- not sure. In any event I have novel outlines that need writers and artists for the graphic novels. I'll be a follower at the very least and perhaps more if you are inclined at all. I co wrote a biography with a Hubber, Amara called "Eternal Defilement," so I am not simply loose with my offers. All my writing projects are meant for the silver screen and I take on everyone as a partner. RJ


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