Title: Despicable Me 2
Spoiler Warning: I think I mention some stuff that happens in the movie but, like the movie itself, I forget what I might have mentioned. Regardless, be warned!
The sequel picks up where the original left off. Arch villain Gru has given up his life of super-crime to raise his three adopted girls and even moves over to the good guys working with Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and the Anti Villain League to uncover a mysterious threat. They spend a lot of time in a mall, there are a lot of gadgets, and lots and lots of little yellow minion shenanigans.
Ages 6 and up
The film is rated PG and I guess there are enough guns, bioweapons, tasers, and other violent implications to warrant a PG. But frankly I walked away from this one feeling it could easily be a G, except for…
All the guns, bioweapons, tasers, and other violent implications. But I want to specifically point to the bioweapons as the most unsettling. The main McGuffin is a missing serum that transforms whoever takes it into a ravenous monster a la, Jekyll and Hyde. And, in fact, the first time we see what the serum can do there is a strong implication that someone is killed. Future transformations could be scary to younger and more sensitive children even though nothing bad happens and all is well in the end.
I’m not going to lie to you; I really didn’t like the first Despicable Me. In fact, I almost got upset with my children when they enjoyed it so much. But then I told myself that it’s just a lame throwaway cartoon, which is what I had to tell myself a lot when I almost got upset with the rest of the world as it went on to be such a huge hit. Why couldn’t everyone else see what a lame movie it was? Rewatching it (not very closely) before going to see Despicable Me 2 I came to terms with the fact that it’s perfectly serviceable even though I still think it has ridiculous plot and character issues.
The sequel is already on the other side of those story problems so that wasn’t an issue for me this time around and Kristen Wiig as AVL agent Lucy is frankly a delightful addition. The little yellow pill guys, the minions, also get a lot more screen time, which is another welcome change. But as enjoyable as these new elements are I ultimately think that this movie is not going to stick with me for very long. At one point Kristen Wiig’s character said something funny and Merran and I leaned over to each other and commented how funny it was – Merran even said she was going to use it as a line from now on – but as I write this scant hours later, I can’t remember what that funny line was. And I suspect when I wake up tomorrow most of the rest of it will have faded from my memory as well.
Do you agree or disagree with my assessment or have something to add?
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Let me know what you think.