I’m not ashamed to say that ‘Despicable Me’ was one of my favorite movies of 2010. Granted, the year itself was not a very great one, with only a handful of truly amazing films being made (‘The Social Network’, ‘Blue Valentine’ and ‘Toy Story 3’ being the best of them), but even still, ‘Despicable Me’ is a respectable and entertaining film that made something unique, charming and completely original out of a genre that has had its fair share of redundancies. While it seemed to be all over the place at times, it was truly a breath of fresh air.
I was excited for ‘Despicable Me 2’; really excited. Like I said, I really liked the first one and so the idea of Gru and his newfound family coming back for another adventure had me anticipating something special.
I can’t say that ‘Despicable Me 2’ is anything new or fresh when you consider where the plot is going (far more generic and predictable than the first film), but these characters are so joyous that one can’t help but fall in love with their whole troop. The kids are hilarious, especially young Agnes, and the inclusion of Lucy is great, especially since both Wiig and Carell have great comedic chemistry here.
The plot follows newly ‘straight-laced’ Gru as he is pulled into the dangerous world of espionage by the Anti-Villain League. They need Gru to use his master bad-guy skills to help capture a real bad-guy who has stolen a mutation serum. Gru is hesitant, but his current profession (he’s making jams and jellies in his basement laboratory) isn’t working out so good for him, so he decides to give it a go. He’s paired up with hyperactive and completely star-struck Lucy (she loved Gru’s work as a villain) and together they scope out the mall looking for the bad guy. Gru has his hunches, but it becomes clear that those hunches are clouded with personal feelings when his eldest daughter Margo falls for the charming young son of the man Gru thinks is the real baddie.
The usual lovelorn antics occur with the parent despising the idea of his daughter seeking out a love interest. Daughter’s heart gets broken, father mends the tears, father hides from love, father falls in love, everyone is happy. It isn’t really the story that makes this film work, but the way that it is crafted. There is just so much to love here. The dialog is sharp, the character development is heartwarming, the criminal activity is comical and the minions are hysterical (yes, I’m one of those people who laugh at everything they do).
This was a great family film, one that was bursting at every seam with something to enjoy. It’s not as good as the film one, but it’s make good on the promise and actually delivers a sequel that is on par with what we were originally presented with.
I give this an A-, and hope to GOD that it winds up on Oscar’s ballot over the likes of ‘Epic’. This is honestly the best animated film I’ve seen this year (yes, better than ‘Monster’s University’) and I really would love to see it recognized, especially since the first one was denied despite being better than two of Oscar’s nominees that year.