Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

I wasn’t a fan of Despicable Me the first time I saw it. I’m a Pixar snob and have not been impressed in the past with the cheaper animation produced by Illumination Entertainment under Universal Pictures. But after multiple viewings because of my two young children, Despicable Me began to grow on me or should I say “Gru” on me. Sorry I couldn’t resist the bad pun. This week Gru, the girls and of course the little yellow minions are back to save the world in Despicable Me 2.

In Despicable Me 2 Gru (voiced By Steve Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain League not to terrorize the world, but to save it from a generic kids movie style evil plan. Let’s just say there’s a magic potion involved. Gru is paired with AVL member Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) who has some gadgets and skills of her own. Can you see what plot direction where heading in? Gru must save the world, date the girl and still be a good father to Agnes, Edith and Margo.

My problem with kid’s movies is that for the most part, sequels are made just to cash in. Franchises like Madagascar, Ice Age and even Pixar’s Cars were created to generate dollars only. In my opinion, the producers don’t care about quality. They just want the merchandise dollars. Unfortunately this is the case with Despicable Me 2. There will be no second chance for me to fall in love with Despicable Me 2.  The second installment gives you nothing to build on. All the heart is taken out of the sequel, with only a lame inevitable romance with Lucy for the audiences to warm up to. To make things worse, most of the entertaining Minions are taken out of the mix for a good portion of Despicable Me 2, which takes the funny charm out of the viewing experience.

I know Despicable Me 2 is only a kids movie, but I would like to think the writers and producers should realize that adults are in the theaters with all these kids. You would think there would be a few wholesome inside jokes for the grown ups, but they are as absent as is the heart in Despicable Me 2. I’m sure many of your smaller children will love Despicable Me 2, but as a parent you’re going to be wishing it was over 10 minutes in. That’s why I give Despicable Me 2 the rating of 1.5 out of 4 potatoes.

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