Sunday, July 14, 2013

Despicable Me 2


Gru (Steve Carrell) and his minions are back for a second outing, this time joined by Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), an agent from the Anti Villain League out to recruit him for a special project involving a stolen serum. Despite all the hero and villain subplots, however, what really gets the highlight is his continuing story of fatherhood to his three girls and all the complications that come with it such as teenage boys and the pressure of finding them a mother.

Unlike Monsters University which depended on Pixar's track record and its existing fanbase, this sequel to Despicable Me seems to have relied heavily on its yellow minions for all marketing strategies. They figured heavily in the viral teasers and their involvement in the plot has been magnified as well. While the appeal of the story for the adult market rests mainly on the fatherhood angle, it looks like those yellow minions have become some sort of cohesive factor that amused moviegoers regardless of age bracket.

The light story is maintained in favor of the kids, but the level of childishness is something that an adult would still find tolerable. You might be amazed by Monsters University's mature appeal as if it were an animated feature for adults, but Despicable Me 2 has its own juvenile allure to it that is quite difficult to ignore. And yes, for the nth time, those minions are just so adorable. I Swear minion version for the win!

Aside from the minions, whose every appearance has been a scene stealer as evidenced by the squealing kids in the audience,  there are many laugh-out-loud moments that make the audience jump in delight once in a while. Most of them are animated slapstick and  uninspired jokes but the delivery always seals the deal, ensuring  a fun atmosphere that is maintained all throughout the movie. There are several cheesy moments too but are often forgivable and draw more "aaawww" than "eeewww".

It is not hard to imagine another sequel, especially now that this one is making waves in the box office. If this would be the case, then the producers are likely to focus on the family angle now that Lucy is part of the cast. It would be interesting to see how they would do it, but perhaps a longer wait would be great to build up anticipation and to make sure that the franchise could maintain its family friendly appeal and tongue-in-cheek humor.

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