despicableme2Minion Magic

Despicable Me 2
Stars: (Voices of) Steve Carrell, Kristin Wigg, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong and Pierre Coffin
Directors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Ranaud
Scriptwriters: Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio
Rating: PG
Running Length: 110 minutes

From the advertising campaign, you can guess what will be the toy-of-the-year. Yes, that’s right, a Minion from the animated “Despicable” movies and due to have their own movie in November 2013. The latest film in the adventures of Gru, a reformed (sort of) villain and voiced by Steve Carell is almost two hours long and has many sections featuring pratfalls and minute’ adventures of the little guys. No one has explained why some of the group have one eye, but perhaps their own movie will go into their history. They are everywhere.  An invasion……..
Despicable Me 2 begins with the theft of a secret government project in the Northern Hemisphere. The machine used is a huge magnet/vacuum cleaner-type (think “War of the Worlds” here) and within seconds, the facility and inhabitants are gone. Then we go to the happy family life of Dru and his three adopted daughters, the oldest Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), the middle child Edith/the military-style one (Dana Gaier) and Agnes, the youngest (Elsie Fisher) with eyes the size of saucers. The front yard is filled with toys and Dru’s old friend, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) doesn't have anything to do, so he “retires.” Quite soon, Dru is contacted by the member of the Anti-Villain League, Lucy (Kristin Wiig who overpowers the film). She tries to be Dru’s equal, but with her chattering dialogue, one always hopes for the Minions to appear for relief. Dru and Lucy are on the case of the disappearing government project, so Dru opens a shop at a local mall and one of the suspects is Perez (alias El Macho, master criminal and voiced by Benjamin Bratt). The chase is on with side stories of what happened to Dr. Nefario and Agnes new boyfriend (Moises Arias) who Dru definitely does not approve of.
Despicable Me 2 has the same angular animation of the first film which is a great part of it's appeal. There is a quiet type of comedy here that tosses the children and their appealing eyes with villains, unusual pets with large fangs, government officials who know it all, disguises, escapes and of course, the proposed destruction of a large part of the planet, which the villain always has in mind.
My favorites scenes of the two films are when Dru is home with the children and trying to be a parent, or figuring out a way for his Minions to go after a villain. In this film, Dru going on the dating scene was an added side story that didn't quite make it for me. It was padding to the film that the storyline did not need. The part where Dru goes undercover and opening a shop at a mall is well done and more could have been made of this and the people there.
You would never recognize Steve Carell as Dru, with his slightly French accent. All of the actor's voices are on target with their character, especially the girls, but Kristin Wiig over-does Lucy and one wonders if the writers are aiming for this character to have her own movie?  Just wondering…..
All in all, Despicable Me 2 is OK for the family, ages 6 and above, as some of the scenes, such as the villains’ mutant creatures and a scene of a person opening the door of an airliner and hand-gliding to earth, may need parental explaining.
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner

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