“You know, you really should announce your weapons AFTER you fire them. For example…” [Tasing Gru] “Lipstick taserrr!”
– Agent Lucy Wilde
I’m very selective about which animated movies I see. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animated movie in theaters before this one. That being said, Despicable Me 2 is the most fun I’ve had at the movies in quite a while. And yes, I liked it better than the first one.
(No, there aren’t any spoilers in this review).
For one thing, it wasn’t directed, written or produced by someone different than the original, which is always a plus. They got the whole team back together again, and it really shows. The screenwriters, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, make sure not to recycle jokes and instead take the story in a different direction than before.
The premise: Gru has settled down with his three girls and is fine with life until an Anti-Villain League agent, Lucy Wilde, kidnaps him and takes him to the League’s director. Gru is tasked to track down a new villain working on a serum which will mutate…well, pretty much everything. Meanwhile, his girls are growing up and his minions are mysteriously disappearing.
Before I saw this in theaters, my girlfriend came over and we watched the first movie. That was fun, but it’s not a requirement here. The script is independent enough that you can have no problem understanding it if you never saw the first Despicable Me. And trust me, even if you didn’t see the first one, this one is still worth watching.
What I liked: For one thing, it was funnier! Oh, yes it was. I won’t give away anything, but the dialogue is amusing, the small humorous touches glow with quality, and of course the minions are even more enjoyable than before.
Second: the storyline was quite a bit better than the original. In the first Despicable Me, it’s your classic villain-turns-good-and-learns-to-love tale. The sequel, on the other hand, more or less breaks its mold and is just a fun ride of twists and turns. The new character, love interest Lucy Wilde, is arguably the most fun cast member. She, along with the steady stream of jokes, keep the movie pumping at a fast pace.
If you’re worried about there not being as many heartfelt scenes as the first movie, fret not. This one is more emotional in a lot of ways, and the way it creates new problems for everyone and resolves them so neatly is a fine touch. The ending scene is probably the best, which I won’t spoil, but it really is a fun celebration.
In summary: No matter what age you are, no matter if you liked the original or not, see this! It’s one of the rare kids movies that works for adults, too, and even if you don’t find it funny, I can almost promise you’ll find it fun.
Rate: 8 out of 10.
The only question they leave unanswered: was Avery, in fact, a boy’s name or a girl’s name? I guess we’ll never know.