Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Directed by Pierre Louis Padang Coffin and Chris Renaud
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand
Gru (Carell) and his three girls are living a relatively quiet life when he’s recruited by the Anti-Villain League to find a dangerous chemical that’s been stolen. Gru is teamed up with rookie agent Lucy (Wiig) whose energy and determination become infectious to the awkward ex-villain. Now the two are at odds with an intelligent super-villain, El Macho (Bratt), who will stop at nothing to execute his master plan.
If you loved Despicable Me, my guess is that you’ll love this sequel almost as much. The cast includes the return of Carell (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Wiig (How to Train Your Dragon), as well as Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock) and Russell Brand (Hop). This movie also features the voices of Ken Jeong (The Hangover) and Benjamin Bratt (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Directors Pierre Louis Padang Coffin and Chris Renaud even got in the act, voicing the minions throughout the film.
The story for this sequel came from Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, the two guys who wrote the screenplay for the original. It has many great moments and takes full advantage of the audience’s love of the minions. Unfortunately, this movie also lacks some of the charm of the original. The romantic storyline seems like it’s afraid of commitment, leaving a lot to be asked for. Still, it resolves the main plot lines nicely, and works overall. One part of this movie I really enjoyed was the villain. He’s a great mix of comedy and sinister intentions. Benjamin Bratt does an awesome job voicing El Macho.
The visuals for this animated film are really nicely done. I saw this in 2D, but I can see the benefits of making this one for a 3D audience. The animation is smooth and the direction is spot on throughout.
The real kudos for this movie needs to go to the cast. The voice work is wonderful from everyone involved. Carell and Wiig play off one another in this one perfectly. The directors did an excellent job getting the perfect delivery from Elsie Fisher who voices the young Agnes.
This is a perfect movie for family night. The comedy works like most animated films these days, giving a blend of humor that works on all levels. The story isn’t going to endear as many people as the original, but it’s still a good movie. I would recommend this to anyone who loved the original. I would also expect people who love films like Toy Story or How to Train Your Dragon to really enjoy this film. I give this one 4.3 out of 5 stars.