DESPICABLE ME 2
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
FEBRUARY 1, 2014
Toss all the minions at me that you want, “Despicable Me 2” does nothing for me. Expanding off the original film, former super-villain Gru (Steve Carrell) turned foster father is taken captive by the Anti-Villain League, headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), to consult for their latest case, a missing laboratory stolen by a giant magnet. Building in a love interest, Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), the AVL agent assigned to help him with the case, Gru must balance this new interest with the troubles associated with raising daughters, as one of them begins dating. With the success and branding potential of the minions coming off the first film, these little yellow creatures take front and center on more than one occasion and providing most of the comic relief for the film, none of these lands for any adults watching the film.
The animation is on point and the voice work remains strong but the film as a whole is more for children than a wide variety of ages. Instead of including a story or humor that adults can love alongside children, “Despicable Me 2″ falls short and remains too kiddie for its good. Truth be told, a huge problem I had with the first “Despicable Me” was the original music produced by Pharrell Williams. His high pitched and much too childish delivery made for a stomach-churning fluff-fest. Yes, kids probably eat up these songs, but for me, they are like nails on a chalkboard. Pharrell Williams returns for the sequel, gaining his first Oscar nomination for the song “Happy”. Better than anything that came out of the first installment, that is still not saying much. With films like “Frozen” and “The Croods” that consider this adult factor, as well as having the matching characteristics of great animation and high caliber voice work, that leaves this film in the dust. However, kids seem to be flocking to this franchise, opening it up to yet another sequel in 2017.
July 3, 2013
(for rude humor and mild action)