Release date: November 25th, for sale 2013
Running time: 98 minutes
Director: Pierre Coffin
Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan
We all have a little bit of bad in us, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Maybe it’s the urge to jump a queue of people at the post office, or yell at a bus driver who’s going too slow, or maybe it’s because we secretly want to be the most feared person on the planet if it’ll help us get better seats at the cinema or a restaurant. Whatever the reason, a little bit of bad can sometimes be good, in the right amounts. After all, going through life like an angel can get a bit boring and that’s probably how Gru (Steve Carell) was feeling at the start of Despicable Me 2.
After having defeated Vector in the first film, with the help of his 10,400 minions and Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), he’s now become a doting full-time single father to Margo, Edith and unicorn obsessed Agnes. This means he’s now put his villainous ways behind him to be everything he can be for the girls, even if that includes reading bedtime stories and dressing up as a fairy princess at birthday parties just to entertain them.
Meanwhile though, there’s trouble elsewhere as the Anti-Villain League have gotten wind of a new super-villain in town who’s stolen a research laboratory and a chemical compound that can transform life forms into invincible mutant killing machines. The league have sent agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) to find Gru so he can help them track down the yet-unknown culprit. Although reluctant at first, Gru eventually realises he misses being part of the action, and with the support of the girls he joins Lucy in setting up a covert operation in the mall to glean more information on shop owners, one of which might the super-villain they’re looking for.
Along the way there’s lot of fun to be had and this mainly comes in the form of the many little minions who bicker, slap, sing, dance and generally cause mayhem as they try to help their beloved Gru with his mission. There’s no denying that the minions are by far my favourite part of the Despicable Me movies, and even their little purple alter-egos provide quite some laughs with the nervous shaking and hyper squeals.
While the film has many standout sequences, such as when the minions are abducted and the musical number at the climax, there are quite some long stretches and subplots concerning Gru’s blossoming romance with the overtly quirky Lucy and Margo’s first crush on a boy. But then I might be biased toward the minions and wouldn’t have minded if the entire film was devoted to them and them alone. Needless to say, I was very excited to learn there’ll be a prequel in 2014 that will focus entirely on them.
Coming as a sequel to a film I hugely enjoyed (as still do), Despicable Me 2 had a lot of funny and heart-warming moments, mixed with action and eye-popping 3D effects, but I couldn’t help feeling it wasn’t as good as the original. The new villain didn’t make a strong impact on me as Vector did and at times there didn’t seem like there was much for Gru to do, he’s a character who’s at his best when he’s being super-villainous. Regardless, I still have a lot of hope for where this developing franchise might go next, especially if the characters continue to give in to their bad sides now and then.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .