Despicable Me 2

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?) - For Hollywood action fans – big screen watch

quick review:

Gru and his minions are back, and they’re still fun. Despicable Me 2 doesn’t quite thrill you as much as you would have liked, but the minions ensure that you’re always entertained!

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Running time: 98 minutes
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Crime
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This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.

The last time we met ‘super-villain’ Gru and his minions, they were planning to steal the moon, until Gru’s paternal instincts act as a speed-breaker when three little orphan girls enter his life. Well, you can’t make that up. Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin return with the sequel to their 2010 hit Despicable Me, and though Despicable Me 2 is quite some fun as well, what it really misses is the sheer audacity in plot, something that the first film thrived on.

Gru has been settling in with his paternal duties nicely, until an organization named the Anti Villain League attempt to recruit him by sending his way one of their agents, Lucy Wilde. They want Gru to help them identify and nab a new super-villain. And what better way to catch one super-villain than pitting him against another, is their rationale.

As with most animation films, Despicable Me 2 is fast-paced, superbly executed and yes, packed with laughs. The characters – Gru, Lucy and Gru’s three girls Agnes, Edith and Margo – win your hearts. Combined with some intriguing shot design and the usual top-notch animation, the film makes sure you’re watching it keenly right till the end.

And of course, the highlight, once again, are Gru’s minions; those adorable yellow creatures with a penchant for finding innovative ways to crash, bang and burn. Mostly voiced by the directors themselves, over the years they’ve become something of an internet phenomenon as well, and despite facing stiff competition from the characters mentioned earlier, they quite simply steal the film from under their noses.

Where Despicable Me 2 falters is that it neither promises nor delivers a good enough payoff to take away from it – the film doesn’t remain with you for very long after the lights come back on. The plot is too plain, too predictable and proceeds without too many twists to bother you along the way. Fun, yes, but Despicable Me 2 just doesn’t have enough thrills to have you truly hooked.

Steve Carell reprises his Gru, and is expectedly great with his zany accent. He manages to make the character his own so much that you can almost imagine Carell sitting somewhere with a hooked nose in front of a microphone. Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt voice the two primary new characters that join the cast – Lucy Wilde and super-villain El Macho respectively, and they’re fine as well, though I don’t think they’ve added any extra spice to their characters by virtue of their voice. Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Kate Fisher and Dana Gaier return as the little girls Margo, Agnes and Edith, and they are simply adorable.

The film’s 3D is nothing to boast of, so I’d recommend that if you were to watch the film, do so in 2D. Besides, the antics of the minions are best enjoyed without the burden of cumbersome glasses on your face. Despicable Me 2 will be best enjoyed by those who loved the first film, and those who love animation films in general. For most others, it will still make for a breezy, fun watch. With the minions’ spinoff film that’s been planned for 2014 - the promise of a film where the yellow fellows get a bulk of the screen time – this film serves a reminder of why that’s something worth looking forward to.

This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Violent, yes. But an animation film at the end of the day.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: Gru and his Minions are up against a new villain
  • General Look and Feel: Bright, well-executed animation

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Despicable Me 2 - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
98 minutes
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Country:
USA

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