Film Review: Despicable Me 2

The computer-animated sequel Despicable Me 2, directed by Pierre Louis Padang Coffin and Chris Renaud, picks up with Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his three adopted girls – Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) – as he is recruited by the Anti-Villain League by agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. At first refusing, Gru’s mind is soon changed when he learns that someone has stolen a mutating chemical compound called PX-41, which has the ability to transform living things into indestructible killing machines, and that his minions have started to mysteriously go missing.

Despicable Me 2 has been highly anticipated since the release of the first film back in 2010. I was absolutely blown away by Despicable Me‘s original comedy and fun characters, so I was really excited for the release of this sequel, especially as it was to be directed by the same directors. But this sequel didn’t nearly live up to my expectations, and instead it felt forced and lacking in story.

Maybe I’m being heartless, but who cares about Gru finding love? Obviously adopting three sweet little girls has softened his heart a little bit, because he wasn’t nearly as evil as he started off like. It wouldn’t have been that bad if he wasn’t constantly distracted by love, but too much got in the way of the spy action and minion madness that made the first film so fantastic. Despicable Me 2 ended up being far too child-friendly for me to fall off my chair laughing this time around; sure it had its funny moments – the end scene, especially, had me laughing until the credits finished rolling, but this animated sequel just wasn’t nearly as funny, cute, or manic as the original.

The animation is really impressive, but the story doesn’t really come to life until the last 20 minutes, which was a little too late for me. Family audiences will love it, and I can’t wait to re-watch it with my younger siblings, but it will never make its place on my DVD shelf unlike the first.

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