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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Despicable Me 2 (3-D) | Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt | Review

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Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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Despicable Me 2   (3-D) | Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt | Review

The super villain of the first movie has gone all domestic diva as mother AND father to three adopted little girls.  Gru (Steve Carrell, voice) is a sentimental family man (sort of) who is not above impersonating a fairy princess for daughter Agnes (Elsie Fisher, voice) on her birthday.  Gru (who now runs a jam and jelly business) is a villain no more and barely even despicable for that matter.

Along with Agnes and her sisters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove, voice) and Edith (Dana Gaier, voice) Gru lives with scores of yellow, be-goggled Minions (who look like the scrubbing bubbles on a cleaning product advertisement) and an ex-evil scientist named Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand, voice).

All is familial bliss until Gru is kidnapped by agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, voice) of the Anti-Villain League, whisking him away to an underwater headquarters where he’s asked to help track down the latest super villain, an unknown entity who has stolen an entire research laboratory from the Arctic circle, including chemical compound PX-41, capable of turning living organisms into indestructible, purple combat mutants.

Gru refuses the assignment, but later changes his mind. Lucy and Gru work undercover in a mall, where suspicions turn to restaurant owner Eduardo (Benjamin Bratt, voice) and Lucy gets romantic notions about Gru.  Meanwhile Minions start disappearing.

Will Gru return Lucy’s affection?  Who will be turned into a purple combat mutant next?  And what does Eduardo have to do with anything?

You almost won’t care because you’ll be having so much fun following the precise comedic timing and rapid-fire dialogue of the characters, Minions especially, as they tumble and fumble their way through situations both silly and alarming.  The stylized animation (pipe-cleaner slim legs, pointy noses, overly wispy or bulky torsos) conveys a comforting familiarity

2010’s Despicable Me co-directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul reteam for this fast-paced collection of clever slapstick adventures and sight gags, steeped in vivid colors and enhanced for once with 3-D effects.  Kids will enjoy the visuals and adults will appreciate the humor.  A Minions’ audition throughout the end credits is a treat for everyone.

Not just an acceptable sequel, but likeable, too, Despicable Me 2 delves further into the characters than expected to make them people we care about – a tough feat since they don’t even exist in real life.  Gru becomes relatable because he is a parent.  Lucy is a well-meaning nerd.  Agnes, Edith and Margo become everyone’s kids, and the Minions run away with each scene in which they appear.

Even filler scenes, those sidebar hijinx that allow for more gags, horseplay, and dalliances work to entertain and delight.
Don’t think that sounds too despicable?  Me 2.

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