Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Despicable Me 2


Gru - When You Need a Hero?

8.0 out of 10 | Movie or DVD

Rated: PG Rude Humor and mild action
Release Date: July 3, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes

Director: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Writers: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamon Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier

SYNOPSIS:  Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.

REVIEW: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud return as directors of the Gru-tastic follow up to Despicable Me. Written by the Despicable Me creative team of Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (The Lorax), we find that Gru has changed his ways in order to be a good father to Edith, Margo and Agnes
. But the good times will not last long!

Gru (Steve Carell, The Way, Way Back) has denounced his wicked and evil ways in favor of taking care of his three adopted daughters Edith (Dana Gaier), Margo (Miranda Cosgrove, School of Rock) , and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Gru has even given up crime in favor of having his minions and Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand, Rock of Ages) work on a legitimate business venture with jellies and jams. When a top secret research facility in the artic circle is stolen for a even more top secret experimental serum, an agent named Lucy (Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids) from the AVL (Anti-Villain League) recruits Gru to root out the villain behind the heist, believed to be hiding out at the local mall. While undercover, Gru is sure that he has uncovered a supposedly dead super villain named el Macho (Benjamin Bratt, Snitch) but is overruled due to lack of evidence. Can Gru find out the truth before his minions and, more importantly, his precious girls are put into danger?

The return of Gru and his minions is an exciting prospect. What person with emotions did not smile during the original film or the commercials when Edith thrusts her stuffed unicorn into the air and declares 'he's so fluffy!'? A sequel was all but demanded by that simple act of a little girl and the warming of the heart of a ruthless criminal mastermind. This time around, Gru has already shed the trappings of being a criminal, focusing all his efforts on the happiness of his little girls.

Gru still has his snarky edge from his years of being a bad guy, but he has warmed up to the fact that being a father is better. The problem is that Edith wants to have a mother too. Facing a threat even greater then an archenemy, Gru shrinks back from the idea of dating. Agent Lucy Wilde, on the other hand, finds Gru enchanting and fun. It does not take a mad scientist to know that a chemical reaction will take place between Gru and his new junior agent partner.

Steve Carell brings back his Gru character just as you would expect. Kristen Wiig, as Agent Wilde, voices her character with a lighthearted romantic slant. Benjamin Bratt, as el Macho, amps up the villain with as much machismo as he can muster. The minions are funny as always, laughing, speaking of their strange language, and blowing raspberries at each other, for supreme comic effect.

The story is a little different from the original. But the main difference is that Gru already has the love of the girls and will do anything to keep them safe. It was fun to watch him in the original while he was trying to make that realization. There is something lost in the fact that Gru is not trying to peddle off the girls back to the orphanage. The action, though, is on par with the original film with a few additional flares.

The creative team does manage to change things up a little bit by adding more pop culture references. From the music group All for One, a homage to Donald Sutherland and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, to Isaac from The Love Boat, to an aerial shot not unlike the final battle in Star Wars: A Phantom Menace, there is something for everybody to enjoy – not just the kids.

While not as good as the original, Despicable Me 2 does entertain kids and adults alike. It may not do as well as the other animation out this season, namely Monsters University, but it will draw enough minions for it to be a success.

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