245 of 291 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
I loved this movie and both my daughters loved it even more. It is AS GOOD as the first part, therefore this review follows the main lines of my review of the first "Despicable me". This review contains very limited SPOILERS.
1. Hilarity - Exactly as the first film, this sequel is HILARIOUS! There is hardly any 15 seconds in this movie that would not contain a really good gag, children or/and adult oriented. Whoever wrote the scenario was a genius!
2. Despicability - in this film Gru is a little bit different from what he was in the first part. He is no more so grumpy, mean, petty and permanently aggravated - he certainly smiles more and all his attitude softened. He remains however exactly as insecure as in the first film. That being said, there are moments in this film when the old Gru resurfaces, when his heart is broken or when somebody REALLY upsets him. His geriatric sidekick and only friend (well, kind of) doctor Nefario didn't take all this change easily and he has some trouble to adapt his evil laboratory to new tasks of producing jam and jelly... Gru's murderous (and toxic) dog/rat/wolverine/skunk like pet on another hand felt completely under the spell of the girls - but still gives a great show! The two "bad guys" are also excellent - which is a real achievement, considering that one of them belongs to species usually not associated with evil villainy...)))
3. Girl power - as in the previous film, I believe that any parent of little girls will fall immediately in love with Margo, Edith and Agnes, the three little orphaned sisters Gru adopted in the first part. Those seemingly defenseless creatures took him since under the sweet and soft but in the same time surprisingly totalitarian control little girls exercise over their fathers, adoptive or not...))) Agnes, the youngest of the three (I think she is 5) is still particularly sweet - if only she was real I would adopt her on the spot and spoil her silly all the rest of my life! Tomboyish Edith, aged around 8, still wears permanently her pink hat which seems to comfort her, but as you will see, she certainly recovered from her previous traumas...))) Margo, the oldest one, is now a young teenager (she is about 13 I think) and starts already to think about boys, something which TERMINALLY freaks Gru out - and I can relate here! Honest, if you already are a parent of a little girl, you WILL LOVE this movie. And if you do not have yet a young daughter, get one!
4. As in previous film, as far as reasons to watch this movie go, even the girls must cede the first place to the minions! The totally devoted, fearless and highly professional and in the same time impossibly immature and conflicted army of Gru minions is THE greatest treasure of this movie. In this film there is even more minions and believe me - they pack incredible fun! I am very impatient to see their own film (which I believe will be released in 2014).
5. Agent Lucy Wilde, a young rising star in the Anti Villain League, is a new element and a new delight added to this film and her character is a great success. Well trained in martial arts and using some extremely cool gadgets, she is also a mixture of perfect lady and a tomboyish, contagiously enthusiastic adventurer, still lacking a little bit of experience and therefore prone to attack first and ask questions later...))) And she is also cute, which certainly doesn't hurt.
I purposefully omitted in this review some of the characters and did not hint at most of the gags and scenes, to avoid big spoilers and keep things short.
To conclude, this is a TREASURE OF A MOVIE. A thing to see in cinema, then buy on DVD, watch, keep and re-watch on regular basis. And I ABSOLUTELY hope for A SECOND SEQUEL!
PS. LONG LIVE MINIONS!
61 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2013
I thought it was impossible.but thjs is better than the first!It.s hysterically funny.touching and the special effects are unbelievable!Gru.once a villain himself.is recruited to catch a bad guy.He must balanxce this wirh caring for his 3 adopted daughters and watching over his unpredictable Minions!What's more is it's wholesome family fare.Movies this good are few and far betweenThis is a definite must!!!
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The summer of 2013 will likely be remembered as a period of sequels for the computer generated animated feature film segment. Sure there are some original pieces sliding into the fray (Epic & Turbo for example) but the lion's share of the media attention falls squarely on Pixar's Monsters University, Universal Pictures'/ Illumination's Despicable Me 2 and already the trailers are beginning to circulate for Disney's third entry into the Cars universe: Planes.
Depending on who you are, the animated sequel thing can work- look at the Toy Stories and Shreks, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascars, and so on. That said, it didn't come as too much of a surprise when rumors started circulating a couple of years back that 2010's surprise breakaway hit about a villain turned good guy would be getting a direct sequel as well as a spin-off film featuring the minions a year after that.
That brings us to the sequel itself- Despicable Me 2 does away with fancy tag lines and usual sequel fluffery and drops its viewer quickly into a brief reprise of Gru's life as a former supervillain turned domestic daddy caring for three orphan girls. This time around we learn that his vast resources, technology and manpower (or Minion power as the case may be) are devoted to the business of producing a line of jellies and jams.
It doesn't take long for Gru's simple life of parenthood/ Smuckers wannabeism to come to a halt when Lucy Wilde, an agent representing the Anti-Villain League (AVL) abducts the baldheaded mastermind and takes him to a top secret meeting to plead for his assistance in solving a caper involving the disappearance of an Arctic laboratory responsible for the chemical agent PX-41. PX-41 is dangerous because of its ability to transform mammals injected with it into indestructible purple, wild-haired killing machines.
Intel leads the search into a local mall of all places, where a storeowner is suspected of harboring the precious chemical. Posing as operators of a food court bakery, Gru and Lucy are assigned the task of figuring out who is behind the lab's disappearance before they have an opportunity to unleash the dreaded PX-41 on the world.
Sure it isn't much of an extraordinarily rich plot, but it is serviceable enough to set up some genuinely funny moments and visually rich action sequences. It's all but impossible not to find enjoyment in Steve Carell's zany delivery as Gru; especially with a script that seems to hone in perfectly on all of the nuances that make the character tick.
Love em or loathe em, the yellow gibberish-spewing Minions are back with a vengeance and lend some comical moments in a variety of disciplines from light potty humor to all out slap stick to complex visual gags the likes of which wouldn't be uncommon in an old Loony Tunes episode. There is little doubt Illumination realizes they have struck a chord in the world's collective psyche with these guys and plan to milk the gimmick for all its worth.
Fortunately even the Minion overload doesn't take much away from the overall entertainment value of the experience- the fact of the matter is there is something to laugh with, about or at going on in nearly every single scene of the film. Some of the gags are more in-your-face than others of course (which is sort expected in a piece that targets everyone from young children to the most cynical of adults) but certainly multiple viewings reveal layers of comedic charm one would expect from studios as refined and experienced as say Pixar or DreamWorks.
Perhaps the most notable element of the viewing experience comes from a quality that's difficult to pinpoint but unmistakable just the same: the film resonates with the same goofy, almost sublime charm that made the first one so successful. Unlike something from Pixar that would try to awe you with cleverness or say DreamWorks where each sequence feels like it was refined a million times over in boardroom, Despicable Me 2 never feels like it's working too hard to woo its viewer. The vivid, unbelievably rich visuals make it nearly impossible to look away while the characters simply do what they do. In the end you find yourself laughing at Gru's dialog, the Minions' antics, Dr. Nefario's combination of brilliance and geriatrics, a new "very macho" villain, the unique gadgets (after all, what other movie can boast containing a 21 fart-gun salute?) or some combination of the above.
In the event that you haven't been keeping up on such things, Illumination Entertainment has been the modern day incarnation of the King Midas myth. Beginning with the first Despicable Me and extending through Dr. Suess' The Lorax and now with this sequel that in under a week has managed to bring in more than quadruple it's $76-million dollar budget, it can truly be said everything these guys touch has turned to gold. Well not really gold so much as yellow- with goggles and blue suspenders.
153 of 197 people found the following review helpful
Actually, this review is of the theatrical performance of DESPICABLE ME 2. We hadn't planned on seeing it this weekend but we were running early at the multiplex and the next showing of MONSTERS U was full. Neither of us had seen D.M. 2's predecessor but it didn't matter once we caught onto the fact that the Minions are kind of like Gremlins or Ewoks except they have very little hair, there are tons of them, some have only one eye, and all of them love to go into costume. The plot has superspy overtones, as the formerly despicable main character Gru (voice of Steve Carrell) is shanghai'd by the international Anti-Villain League to find out who is about to enslave the world (the likely culprits have been winnowed down to the proprietors of the stores at the local shopping mall). Lucy, a way over-the-top near-novice girl spy (Kristen Wiig) joins our hero and at the beginning there is no love lost between them . . . but things develop. So what you have is basically a super-high-energy 98-minute animated feature that's part spy caper, part screwball comedy, part teen romance (Miranda Cosgrove returns as the eldest daughter), capped with the Minions singing a spirited version of the Village People's "Y.M.C.A." in Minion-ese. Benjamin Bratt as a macho restaurateur and Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario add to the fun. Rated PG, though I'm not sure why except there's some comic SPLAT-ing going on, and the Minions apparently think the word "bottom" is naughty. (One whispers the word to another, they both titter; then the children in the audience titter, followed by the adults. It's just that kind of movie.) Our showing ended with spontaneous audience applause, and the movie deserved it in my opinion. We awoke today to the news that D.M.2 is the top-ranked movie in America, and my partner went out in search of the disc version of D.M. (1) that includes extra Minion mini-features.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2013
Because of the fact the movie is still fairly new and at least half of the world hasn't seen it, I'll keep this review sparse.
When "Despicable Me" came out in 2010, I didn't see it as a film that could generate a good sequel (although making $540 million at the box office pretty much made it a certainty). If this had been released by Disney instead of Universal, odds were this would have ended up like one of those straight-to-DVD types that were so common in the 1990s and early 2000s. But this sequel is one of the rare movies that tops the original in terms of plot, pacing and even music (if you're a fan of 70s R&B and disco, you're in for a treat), so it's more than deserving of its own shot at the big screen.
Positive No. 1: You don't even have to have seen the original to follow what's going on here. This was great, because my family and I didn't remember much about the first one (which says something in itself).
No. 2: The pacing is well-done. There's not really a slow moment; the movie chugs along from second to fifth gear admirably throughout.
No. 3: The script is solid. Sure, there's a few plot cliches, but you get past them because you spend a good chunk of the movie laughing hysterically. I have to admit that part of the ending was different than I expected, which makes the film all the more great.
No. 4: The film is loaded with subtle and not-so-subtle verbal, visual and written references -- whether it's "I Love Lucy," "The Man With the Golden Gun," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "Footloose," or others -- to where you feel like you need to see it again to look for more. Lucy's Southern California cell phone number, by the way, is a real working number, not one of those 555-1212 items.
No. 5: Gru's yellow "minions" put the film over the top in terms of humor. Try watching the scene where several of them are doing a version of Boyz II Men's "I Swear" without spitting popcorn out across the theater. My wife tells me that part of what they're saying throughout the film is in French. Given the highly French production team, I wouldn't doubt it...although maybe it's backwards French. And they do all of this without being overly crude (families with young kids can rest easy). No wonder they're getting their own movie in Christmas 2014.
My only negative: Don't bother with the 3D version -- there's really not that much here, animation-wise, to merit spending the extra $4 or $5 per ticket. Don't get me wrong -- the animation is solid (although we appear to have maxed out after "Toy Story 3" in terms of what can be done on screen). But aside from one scene, you can watch the basic 2D version and not feel like you're missing anything. And you'll avoid the eyestrain-induced headache.
All in all, an "A" grade. Sorry, Superman, Lone Ranger, Hangover 3 guys and Will Smith -- here's the real summer blockbuster.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2013
***This review may contain spoilers***
Without a doubt, this is one crazy, clever, and outrageous bullet train of an animated movie that does its energetic best to wring out the laughs (and mostly succeeds). Part of "Despicable Me 2's" (hereafter DM2) success are its inspired plot borrowings such as "The Incredibles", the Bond movie series, "Lilo and Stitch" and even "Cars 2" to embroil everyone's favorite Uncle Fester/Dr. Evil hybrid ex-supervillian Gru (Steve Carell) in a world dominance plot using cute beasties turned into purple, fanged wrecking balls.
Another part of its success is the gradual revelation of Gru's more positive qualities such as his growing, more tolerant, and sometimes excessive compassion towards his adoptive children Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), the eldest and a budding teenager, tomboyish middle child Edith (Dana Gaier), and button-cute unicorn fanatic Agnes (Elsie Fisher), the youngest. We also must not forget the winning, prepossessing debut of resourceful Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, using her Lola Bunny voice from "The Looney Tunes Show") who recruits the somewhat reluctant Gru to go uncover with her at a mall bakery to uncover which of the mall proprietors is behind the purple mutant plot. The flabby but suave and mysterious Eduardo Perez/El Macho (Benjamin Bratt), the mall Mexican restaurant owner with an alluring son (Moisés Arias) involved with Margo, also keeps the proceedings hopping. All of the aforementioned stuff, in my opinion, works as smart, coherent entertainment.
But what powers and keeps this bullet train together is one of the most insidiously and surprisingly endearing creations of any movie - the little old Minions. These slyly captivating characters prove the old adage that introducing lots of cute, fun, silly, little people in a movie is a surefire, lucrative way to lure people to an animated film. Characters such as the Smurfs, Pokemon, and the 627 experiments from "Lilo and Stitch" have certainly proven that. They can easily capture young children's interest.
But unlike the Smurfs, etc., Minions have crossover appeal to parents as well. Sure they babble childishly and otherwise act like overstimulated, quarrelsome brats. But the Minions are also industrious, satirical and hip assistants with some adult sensibilities, always eager to help Gru with his radically new espionage job, parenting, and love life predicaments. These Twinkie-shaped, blue over-all wearing dynamos keep DM2's pace from ever flagging.
This is not to say that the Minions completely detract from the main storyline. I think we want to see Gru surmount childhood disappointments, his uncertainties and his sinister past to be a good do-gooder, better parent, and perhaps a suitable match for Lucy. But DM2 wouldn't be quite the same without the Minions serving as Greek chorus, comedy relief, and (mostly) trustworthy Gru sidekicks AND foster children. No wonder Illumination Entertainment plans an exclusive feature for them. Now if they can only introduce a Minionette.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
As stated in my earlier review for Despicable Me, this movie was on my 2013 must watch list. So after its near 3 week highly successful run, here is my review for: Despicable Me 2.
Despicable Me 2 brings back Steve Carrell as everyone's favorite bad guy, Gru. Also returning are Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, and Elsie Fisher and Dana Gaier as Agnes and Edith. Newcomers to the movie include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo, Moises Arias as Antonio, Steve Coogan as Mr Silas Ramsbottom, and although she played a minor role in the first film, Kristen Wigg portrays the lady with the lipstick, Lucy Wilde. The cast did an excellent job.
The story line is highly enjoyable, not quite as charming as the first film in my opinion but still very enjoyable. There is the right amount of humor, the animation is well put together, and the minions (as always), are at it again.
My complaint that it is not as memorable as the first is easily overlooked Thanks to Despicable Me 2 being so smart. It has the smarts, the fun, and still has the heart that made us fall in love with the original movie. I have a feeling that a 3rd sequel will be made in due time; while in the meantime, the minions themselves will be getting a movie all on their own in July of 2015. To close out my review If you have not seen this movie, What are you waiting for? GO SEE Despicable Me 2! I can guarantee and confirm that you and your family will have a blast.
97 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2013
My name is Norma and I'm a Minion junkie.
In Despicable Me, they were the bickering followers of supervillain Gru (voiced by the always funny Steve Carell), who adopted three little girls as part of one of his evil plots. In Despicable Me 2, Gru, now a devoted dad, has reformed and is attempting to start a legitimate business. He's turned his lab into a high-tech kitchen for making jellies and jams. Too bad nobody, including the Minions, likes the stuff they're making. His longtime sidekick, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), grows restless--as restless as a hard-of-hearing geezer mad scientist can possibly be--and decides to leave Gru's lab and go back to evildoing with another supervillain. Gru reluctantly says goodbye to his soon-to-be-former accomplice and the Minions give Nefario a twenty-one fart gun salute (yep,I said fart gun--it wasn't a typo).
When the Minions start to disappear, Gru doesn't notice--at first. He's busy deflecting the matchmaking attempts of an annoying neighbor and his own daughters. The youngest, Agnes, struggles with her role in a Mothers Day pageant at her school, feeling the lack of a mother of her own. Gru is also concerned that eldest daughter Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), now a teenager, has discovered boys.
Enter Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, who provided the voice of snarky orphanage director Miss Hattie in the original film), an agent for the Anti-Villains League, who kidnaps Gru and Minions Stuart and Dave and takes them to AVL headquarters, where AVL Director Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) tries to recruit Gru to help find a supervillain who possesses a dangerous formula that turns anyone injected with it into an unstoppable purple killing machine. He and Lucy end up partners, but at first they can't get along, and every attempt they make to find the supervillain ends badly...starting with a restaurant break-in, during which they run afoul of a chicken (sorry, I couldn't resist).
When little Agnes declares that Gru loves Lucy, Gru not only denies it, he insists he doesn't even like Lucy. Typical male...denying his feelings right up to the moment he says "I do!"
The AVL thinks they've found their man when wigmaker Floyd (Ken Jeong) is arrested. Gru is dismissed in spite of his insistence that restaurateur Eduardo (voiced by Benjamin Bratt) is the real culprit...and with Nefario's help is turning the Minions into monsters. By the time his suspicions are proven correct, Lucy is on a flight to Australia and her next assignment.
Will Lucy return? Does Nefario's conscience get the better of him? Do Gru and Lucy have a future together? Will Margo, Edith and Agnes finally get a mom? And what of the Minions? Will they be yellow and cute again in time for next year's Minion Movie?
I can't wait for the DVD!
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2013
Former criminal and now nice guy Gru (Steve Carell) is recruited by secret agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) to find a bad guy. They set him up in a mall bakery. There is something about a redhead named Lucy working in a bakery that jogs the memory.
While there are a few things for adult, the humor is geared at kids combining generic spy humor with fart jokes. Gru calling Mr. Ramsbotton, Sheep-butt got the biggest laugh among the kids. The colorful Candyland looking scenery along with the type of humor clearly indicates a this is for a younger crowd, i.e. tweens most likely won't be overjoyed sitting through it.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The despicable moon-stealing super-villain Gru and his army of little minions make their hilarious return in 2013's "Despicable Me 2." Gru has gone straight and is busy single-parenting his three adorable adopted little girls Margo, Agnes, and Edith while dodging the neighborhood matchmaker. He and Dr. Nefario, another former super villain, are partners in a not-very-successful jam and jelly enterprise. But life has some surprises in store for Gru, beginning with his kidnapping from Agnes' birthday party by the secret agent Lucy Wilde, in a sequence that would have done credit to any recent James Bond movie.
The Anti-Villain League or AVL wants Gru's help in locating another super villain, the one who made off with an entire Arctic research station and a secret formula that turns people into monsters. AVL suspects the villain may be hiding out in a large mall. The mismatched Gru and Agent Lucy are assigned to the case, which has them checking out suspects, including a salsa restaurant owner and a wig seller. To go further would be to impose order on a plot that is intentionally chaotic and over the top. Suffice it to say that in the end, the world will be saved, Gru will conquer his fears about dating women, and the girls will have a new mother.
The animation is even better than last time. Much more screen time is given to the antics of the minions, who have developed distinct personalities. There is plenty of cartoon action, more than enough to keep the kids entertained in their seats. There are also lots of sight gags and jokes about growing up, parenting and relationships to keep the adults in the audience amused. "Despicable Me 2" is easy entertainment, and recommended.