"Despicable Me 2"
Release Date: July 3, 2014
Running Time: 98 minutes
Despicable Me found the Steve Carell-voiced bumbling bad guy Gru giving up a life of crime to raise his three adopted daughters. In Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, Gru’s recruited by the Anti-Villain League to track down the nefarious mastermind behind the theft of a dangerous chemical compound. He’s paired with the Kristen Wiig-voiced AVL Agent Lucy Wilde. If Despicable Me was about an aloof, misguided man unexpectedly embracing his inner goodness, this sequel focuses on how a reformed rascal fully allows love in his life. Lucy, of course, is the woman directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud push into Gru’s arms. Gru already has trouble relating to the opposite sex, and it doesn’t help that Lucy initially comes across as exhaustingly wild—as her name suggests—and bubbly. It takes the overly excited Wiig almost half of Despicable Me 2 to get herself under control. From then on, it’s understandable why Gru’s daughters view her as mommy material. Despicable Me 2, though, isn’t just about marrying off Gru. There are plenty of thrilling moments during Gru and Lucy’s investigation, all of which are executed with panache by Coffin and Renaud. Gru and Lucy’s lead suspect is Eduardo, a Mexican restaurateur who is voiced with roguish charm by Benjamin Bratt, the late-minute replacement for Al Pacino. Eduardo isn’t as amusing or dastardly as Despicable Me’s nebbish Vector, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Coffin and Renaud. The real stars of Despicable Me 2 are Gru’s cute and cuddly henchmen, the Minions. These pill-shaped yellow creatures get up to more nonsense in Despicable Me 2 than they did in the first film, and they play a pivotal role in the plot Gru and Lucy seek to thwart. Also, the end credits turn out to be a long promo for next year’s Minions spin-off, an origin tale that will feature the voices of Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm. The minions certainly help make Despicable Me 2 a lot of fun while it lasts but this sequel doesn’t remain with you for long. Perhaps this is because Despicable Me 2 doesn’t quite possess the same big heart that allowed its predecessor to feel closer to one of Pixar’s emotionally driven character studies than a pop-culture obsessed lark from DreamWorks.
Aired: July 4, 2014
Web site: http://despicableme.com/