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An average movie

Posted : 4 years, 3 months ago on 6 December 2014 10:11

Even though I did like 'Despicable Me', I didn't think it was really amazing but since it was a big success at the box-office, of course, they had to bring a sequel. Eventually, I thought it was a decent follow-up and it was fairly entertaining but I can’t say it was really an improvement on the previous installment. In fact, in my opinion, the story was actually pretty messy. Indeed, why did they hire Gru for this mission? What was his mission in fact? Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention but it was rather murky to me. Even though those movies are massively popular, I think they are mostly aimed at young children who won't mind such a rather weak story but since I don’t belong to the target audience, I didn't really buy it. Still, I have to admit that those Minions were again pretty awesome, Gru was really fun as well and, obviously, they had to add a mum to this family but Lucy was actually a very nice addition and she made me smile a couple of times. To conclude, I still think that this franchise is rather overrated but it remains a decent animated feature and it is worth a look, especially if you like the genre.

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Better than the original

Posted : 5 years, 2 months ago on 29 December 2013 12:59

After 'Despicable Me', I wanted to watch this, I didn’t think 'Despicable Me 2' would be as good as the original, firstly, the story sounded a bit lame (a former villain wanting to save the world) then it turned out hilarious and was better than the original

The minions (the best part of it) are even more hilarious, epic new characters and fighting scenes make 'Despicable Me 2' a hilarious flick which should be longer and will be watched over and over

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Despicable Me 2 review

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 9 July 2013 09:20

A good movie but doesn't outdo it's predecessor well at least not right now maybe after a couple more watches then maybe it will. After the events in the first film Steve Carell (Gru) is done being a villain he now is just a family guy watching over his three daughters. He gets hired by a Anti-Villain League to track down and find this other villain. In this one Gru has a partner Kristen Wiig (Lucy Wilde) she was ok but didn't really see the point of her other then a type of love story but it's Kristen Wiig and i love her so i'm fine with it. The minions were awesome just like in the first film i love the little number at the end of the movie.

Overall i give it a 7.7 will for sure be buying this on blu ray it has tons of laughs throughout the movie. Id recommend this to anyone that has little children also it's one of those kids movies that adults can watch without ripping out their eyes

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Review of Despicable Me 2

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 7 July 2013 01:58

I can't say I didn't enjoy Despicable Me 2 because I did, in fact, have a good time watching it. The gags were funny enough, the visuals are nice enough, and the experience was pleasant overall. But at the same time, I couldn't help but feel a little let-down considering this is the much anticipated sequel to the surprisingly funny Despicable Me. It just seems a little weak, even rushed, but I can't deny it's entertainment value and easy appeal that- if nothing else- provides a relatively amusing, if unspectacular 98 minutes.

The paper-thin plot features Gru, adapting to the life of being a father, when out of the blue, he is approached by an agent of the AVL (Anti Villains League) named Lucy Wilde, who wants Gru's help in capturing the villain responsible for stealing a very dangerous chemical.

Despicable Me 2 is a welcome return to lovable characters, but it seems that many of them really don't know what to do. Dr. Nefario leaves Gru in order to go back to evil, but this serves no real purpose in the story, nor does it carry any emotional weight. It seems that since he has nothing to do in this story, the filmmakers might as well just get rid of him. Margo develops a relationship with a boy that goes absolutely no where, and the other two girls basically just stand around and look cute for the entirety of the film.

This isn't as big a problem as it might have been, however, because no matter what these characters are doing, it's funny. That's certainly no excuse for sloppy screen-writing, but it eases the pain a bit.

On the other hand, characters like Fred and Gru's mother from the first film only appear for a few seconds at the end in non-speaking roles. Not only do they serve no purpose in this film, but they also remind us of how funny they were in the original, which makes their lack of presence in this film noticeable and disappointing.

On the subject of characters, we have a couple new ones. Lucy Wilde, portrayed by Kristen Wiig, is essentially the same character Wiig plays in The Looney Tunes Show (though this isn't much of a problem as the character is reasonably funny). Eduardo Perez is worth a few laughs (especially during his dance number, a memorable highlight of the film), and Ken Jeong has a small but amusing bit as a hair stylist.

The script, while a bit uneven, is funny- sometimes very funny- but ultimately can't match that of the original. The gags come frequently enough, and there are many laughs to be had, but one can't help but shake the feeling that there should be more laughs. One of the funniest things about the original was it's villain-related satire humor, and sadly, that's almost entirely gone in this sequel.

The voice cast is adequate. Steve Carrel is just as funny and lovable as Gru as he was in the first film. Kristen Wiig is amusing as Lucy Wilde, and Benjamin Bratt (replacing Al Pacino who dropped out less than two months before the film's release date) is solid as Eduardo Perez.

The animation in the original film was simplistic, but worked for the film. And while the animation has significantly improved in the sequel, it's still not as consistently stunning as that of Pixar, Disney or even Dreamworks. Still, it looks nice enough, and the bold colors are appealing.

While Despicable Me 2 is, in many respects, a disappointment, it's also a reasonably fun film with plenty of laughs to go around. It doesn't match the original (or even come especially close), but it's easy enough to like, and those minions alone are worth the price of admission.

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A fresh, hilarious and moving sequel.

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 6 July 2013 02:41

If there is any genre that either succeeds or fails with sequels, it is animation. While the majority deliver, usually at an even higher level of visual effects, many lack the emotional warmth with imagination and meaning from their predecessors. In 2010, Illumination Entertainment made their feature animation debut with Despicable Me which instantly became a hit and consequently became recognized for the visual and emotional charm it bestowed. When a film like that delivers on so many levels, a follow-up is impossible to put aside. Now after three years of waiting, we have one and considering the hype surrounding it, Despicable Me 2 is thankfully a solid sequel. It is filled with almost everything that made the predecessor so successful, yet at the same time contains certain elements that made it a different.

Following in the footsteps of the first film, Despicable Me 2 is one of the greatest laugh-out-loud family comedies in a long time. While it is full of witty jokes and one-liners, the slapstick humour stands out the most and makes it ridiculously funny. Just by observing it, Despicable Me 2 follows traditional trends of slapstick comedies as it makes even the daftest stunts and scenarios hilarious to watch. In all aspects, the film is wacky but the implication of human drama provides thought-provoking depth like we do not see often. This is why both installments have been hits: because the target audience is everyone as demonstrating in the humour and the drama. It is a film that balances comical laughs that kids will love and is a heart-melting drama with morals which adults will understand.

In many animated sequels, there are certain narrative trends that follow from within the predecessor. In that sense, Despicable Me 2 has the same idea behind it compared to the first film but this time, it aims in a different direction. This time, it mainly focuses on Gru’s relationship with Lucy and whether his family will be complete or not. Admittedly, within the first fifteen minutes, it looked like the predecessor all over again in terms of narrative structure but impressively, it becomes a different story that becomes more dramatic and, quite frankly, more serious. However, despite Despicable Me 2’s overall execution is heartfelt and genuine like its predecessor; it was the rushed climax that slightly ruined the excitement.

Steve Carell returns to the role of Gru, a former super-villain turned family man, and once again proves that he is perfect in the role. The character of Gru is Carell in a nutshell when on-screen. Carell is known for playing funny, idiotic yet heartfelt characters and Gru is exactly that. In this sequel, we observe a different angle to Gru’s exposed sensitive nature from the three orphans now to his love life. Gru provides emotional depth as a father but also as a man with feelings in society. Hence, the character is loved from the audience. Meanwhile, Kristen Wiig takes on the role of Lucy, an Anti-Villain League agent who collaborates with Gru but eventually melts his heart even more and becomes his love interest. On a similar note, the three girls Margo, Edith and Agnes once again melt the audience’s hearts. Finally, the Minions return and they’ve never been funnier as they were in Despicable Me 2. They are so idiotic that they are so loved. Although this sequel focuses on Gru, the film would not have worked without them. If they are going to be as wacky in the forthcoming spin-off next Christmas as they are in the two Despicable Me installments, then we are in for a real treat.

While Despicable Me 2 did have a mountain to climb against its predecessor and didn’t surpass it, this sequel is charming and is an impressive effort. It is a rarely successful follow-up that is not far at all among Toy Story 2, 3 and Shrek 2 as the greatest of its kind. After two fresh installments and that the sequel ended like a Disney fairy tale on a high note, there does not necessarily need to be anymore. Thus, Despicable Me 2 brings forth tingling anticipation for the forthcoming Minions spin-off, serves as a rival against Pixar’s Monsters University for the best family film of summer 2013 and most of all, has become a strong contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

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Not the knockout sequel we hoped for

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 15 June 2013 02:28

"That's right, baby! Gru's back in the game with cool cars... gadgets... and weapons!"

According to The Big Book of Hollywood Economics, every animated feature in this day and age must be sequelised. Even Hoodwinked got a sequel that nobody asked for, and there's no palpable end in sight for the Madagascar or Kung Fu Panda sequels. The sleeper animation hit of 2010 was Despicable Me, from the newly-established Illumination Entertainment. Although it was released in the same year as Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon, it racked up an impressive box office gross of nearly $550 million, guaranteeing a sequel. But despite being masterminded by the same writers and directors as its predecessor, Despicable Me 2 is an oddly underwhelming follow-up, working only in drips and drabs rather than as a cohesive whole. It comes up short in terms of humour, not to mention it loses the heart of the original film and it lacks the thematic complexity of Pixar's usual output. It's not bad per se, as it's bright and fairly fun, but it's not unreasonable to expect a stronger finished product considering the quality of the 2010 movie.

Domesticated and no longer engaging in villainous antics, Gru (Steve Carell) has warmed up to the lifestyle of a father, diligently looking out for his adopted daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Agnes (Elsie Fisher) and Edith (Dana Gaier). Meanwhile, a research station in Antarctica has been stolen, and the criminal behind the deed now possesses a serum capable of creating an unstoppable army of mutants. Investigating the matter is the Anti-Villain League, who are compelled to recruit Gru. Teaming up with agent Lucy Wilde (Kristin Wiig, who voiced an entirely different character in the first film), Gru goes undercover at a local shopping mall to weed out the new super villain. Added to this, the girls become insistent that Gru begins seeking out a girlfriend, leading to flying sparks between Gru and Lucy as they carry out their mission.

What makes Despicable Me 2 interesting is that it's a mystery for the majority of its runtime. The villain is kept shrouded in secrecy until the very end, which provides a hook and gives the film the chance to toy with audience expectations. However, the film plays out as more of an adventure than a fun family comedy, establishing a light-hearted tone but failing to deliver a steady stream of laughs. In fact, there are no belly-laughs at all, and there are only one or two memorable moments of comedy in the entire 90-minute picture. Moreover, the best gags are only in the final third, and the only joke to make me laugh out loud (the minions dressing up as the Village People and performing their own rendition of YMCA) is right before the end credits. Despicable Me 2 needed to be coloured in with more of the sly humour that made the original so special. Furthermore, the film suffers due to a lack of heart, making it feel empty and disposable. 2010's Despicable Me had a clichéd but effective character arc for Gru as he warmed up to the girls, but here we just get a romantic angle which lacks the sincerity to make it soar. Added to this, the Anti-Villain League is forgotten about halfway through the movie. Literally. Gru solves the mystery and saves the world, but we do not see the repercussions on the league. It's baffling.

Owing to the three-year gap and heightened budget, Despicable Me 2 is a more attractive movie, boasting improved animation that nevertheless retains the simplistic charm of its forerunner. That said, though, the 3D does not add much to the experience. In fact, it's one of the most rote uses of the format in recent memory, with only a few moments that take full advantage of the possibilities of 3D. For most of the time, you forget you're watching the movie in 3D. Trust me, this one plays just fine in 2D. On a more positive note, the film fares best while observing the minions up to their usual mischief. The minions only speak in gibberish, hence it's up to the animators to make them interesting by giving them amusing slapstick humour in the vein of the Three Stooges. Luckily, the minions are brilliant here, and their antics are as amusing as ever. But the rest of the humour is a mixed bag. The first movie had some snide moments of black comedy as well as a few sly sight gags; here, the biggest recurring joke is the fart gun, which tells you how uncreative the flick really is.

Despicable Me 2 is not an actor's movie, of course, but Carell is still an utter delight as Gru. He's a wonderfully quirky visual creation, and Carell voices him with a hilariously indeterminate accent that, in the actor's own words, mixes Ricardo Montalban and Bela Lugosi. Wiig is also good here, giving Lucy a spark of brightness and charisma. Wiig is good in anything, and she was a great choice for Lucy. Al Pacino was initially slated to be part of the picture, but dropped out at the 11th hour over "creative differences," and was replaced by Benjamin Bratt. The fact that he was so easily replaced shows how interchangeable the vocal acting is, though Bratt does a serviceable enough job. Unfortunately, Russell Brand's Dr. Nefario is criminally underused, given barely any screen-time at all. Nefario is a supporting presence and works in small doses, sure, but a development early into the story concerning the character just doesn't sit right.

In spite of all its flaws, Despicable Me 2 is still entertaining, with a few standout sequences and a nice sense of energy that rarely falters. It's not that the film is unwatchable; it just feels lazy, as if the animators were the only ones who put in a genuine effort. For the first Despicable Me, the makers all had something to prove, as it was Illumination Entertainment's debut movie and it had to make a positive impression. Now, it seems, the crew were operating on autopilot, which is a real shame.


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