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Movie Reviews by Roger Moore
"Despicable Me 2"
Older kids and their minion guardians could do worse than "Despicable Me 2," the sequel to the 2010 smash about a supervillain turned adoptive parent. On the other hand, reports of the movie's charm have been greatly exaggerated.
It's a reasonably efficient baby sitter, done up in 3-D computer-generated animation of no special distinction. But the first one's weird mixture of James Bond bombast and hyperactive pill-shaped Minions (the protagonist Gru's goggle-clad helpers) had the element of surprise in its favor.
This time, Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is placed in the takes-one-to-catch-one mold of Hannibal Lecter. An arctic research lab gets sucked up into space by a giant magnet in the prologue.
To my taste, as well as that of several nervous preteens in the preview audience, the script by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio ("The Lorax," "Horton Hears a Who!") goes in for an awful lot of cheap scares, notably when the Minions are injected with a serum changing them into hairy, menacing purple beasts. Would it kill a movie such as this to find another way to keep the target audience in its collective seat? The Minions are amusing, but they remain largely undifferentiated creatures, saved from pure generica only by their peppy gibberish-based language skills, heavy on the flatulence sound effects.
Steve Carell's Slavic inflections as Gru do the trick, as before. Wiig's clever hesitations and comic timing help save the day. The minute her character's pointy-ish nose appears on screen, with the rest of her, you know she and the extremely pointy-nosed Gru are going to be sweethearts. Next year, the Minions star in their own movie, titled "Minions." "Despicable Me 2" will do, until that one comes along.
Despicable Me 2
Film Critic Rating: 2.5 out of 4 Stars
MPAA rating: PG (for rude humor and mild action).
Running time: 1:38.
Voice Cast: Steve Carell (Gru); Kristen Wiig (Miss Hattie); Benjamin Bratt (Eduardo).
Credits: Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin; written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio; produced by Christopher Meledandri and Janet Healy. A
Despicable Me 2 Movie Trailer
About "Despicable Me 2" the Movie
A mysterious vehicle using a giant magnet steals a highly potent mutagen known as PX-41 from a secret laboratory in the Arctic Circle. The Anti-Villain League (AVL), led by Silas Ramsbottom, sends one of its agents, Lucy Wilde to collect Gru, who was a former super-villain. Meanwhile, at Gru's house, it is one of his daughters, Agnes's birthday and he hosts a party for her. Later, Lucy Wilde uses her lipstick taser to get Gru to the AVL headquarters, as two minions witness the kidnapping and try to save Gru only to end up tagging along. When they make it at the AVL Silas Ramsbottom introduces himself (much to Gru's and the minions amusement) and tells him he was taken there to track down the culprit of the person who stole the lab and recover the mutagen. However, Gru refuses, claiming that he is now a legitimate father and cheap jelly businessman. Longing to resume his criminal life, Dr. Nefario, Gru's friend and assistant, leaves Gru for new employment. This convinces a reluctant Gru to investigate the theft and work with undercover AVL agent Lucy Wilde.
The pair begin their search in the Paradise Shopping Mall, disguised as bakery employees. Gru immediately suspects the Mexican restaurant owner, Eduardo Pérez, of being the infamous "El Macho", a legendary super-villain who supposedly died by riding a shark into the mouth of an active volcano with 250 pounds of dynamite strapped to his chest. Gru and Lucy break into Eduardo's restaurant at night but find no proof. Meanwhile, Agnes, who dreams of having a mother one day, believes that Gru will fall in love with Lucy. Gru denies it, saying his relationship with Lucy is only professional.
Although holding Eduardo as his prime suspect, Gru agrees to pursue others, including wig merchant Floyd Eagle-san. After witnessing Eduardo's two-timing son, Antonio, woo Margo and invite everyone to his Cinco de Mayo party, Gru renews his focus on Eduardo. His neighbor, Jillian, sets him up on a dinner date with her vacuous friend Shannon. The date goes awry, but Lucy arrives and rescues Gru from being humiliated by shooting Shannon with a tranquilizer gun. While they take Shannon home, Gru and Lucy spend personal time together, and Gru falls in love with her.
The next day, the AVL arrest Eagle-san after finding an almost-empty jar of the mutagen in his shop, and the investigation is closed by Ramsbottom. Lucy is reassigned to Australia and gives Gru her lipstick taser as a gift before leaving. A heartbroken Gru, having lacked the courage to ask Lucy out on a date, instead takes the girls to the Cinco de Mayo party. There, he follows Eduardo and discovers a secret musical steps-activated elevator, where he finally finds proof that Eduardo is El Macho.
On her flight, Lucy, realizing that she has also fallen in love with Gru, jumps out of the plane and uses a hang-glider to reach the party. Gru discovers that El Macho, who has hired Nefario as a partner, has been abducting Gru's minions and using the stolen PX-41 serum to make them rabid and indestructible. El Macho plans to launch rockets full of the mutated Minions into major cities in order to dominate the world. He offers Gru the chance to team up with him, but Gru walks away and El Macho sends one of his minions after him.
Gru takes the girls home and finds a heartbroken Margo as Antonio has chosen another girl to dance with other than her; Gru freezes him on the way out. Lucy later arrives at the party right after Gru leaves, but El Macho captures Lucy after Pollito, El Macho's pet chicken, retrieves her AVL ID badge from her purse. Nefario rejoins Gru and tells him that Lucy has been captured, Gru goes back to his fortress with two of his own minions. Meanwhile, back at Gru's house, the minion that El Macho released finds his home and attacks the girls, but Nefario comes to their rescue as he had created an antidote to the serum and puts it in the jelly. Gru enters the fortress with two disguised minions covered with purple paint pretending to be captured to help him enter El Macho's fortress, but one of the minions wipes some paint off of his face with his glove revealing to all the purple minions that he is not one of them and the kidnapping was fake, therefore the purple minions attack and corner them, Luckily Nefario, the girls and the rest of Gru's minions who are in a normal state arrive with the antidote and return all the Minions to their normal state. El Macho then applies the mutagen on himself and turns into a monster, but Gru and Nefario defeat him using Lucy's lipstick taser and a fart gun respectively.
Gru finds Lucy strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket and starts to untie her, but Pollito launches the rocket, sending it flying towards the same volcano where El Macho previously faked his death. Lucy accepts Gru's invitation for a date, and the pair dive into the ocean seconds before the rocket enters the volcano and violently explodes. Gru rejoins the AVL, and he and Lucy eventually get married, giving Margo, Edith and Agnes a mother.