Rating: 3 stars out of 5
“Oh poop. Hup hup hup pi ga tap. Heh heh. Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Hmmmm… egh. Woogi a la pat ta!!! Wa ka? No no no… UNDERWEEEAAR!”
This whole movie review could be written in “Minion-speak” considering that these bouncing yellow assistants to not-so-despicable family man Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) were the ones that stole, nay, saved the show.
Co-directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, ‘Despicable Me 2’ is the sequel to their 2010 hit. Soft-hearted baddie Gru has given up his evil schemes in favour of a jelly-and-jam business and is now a full-time parent to adopted daughters, Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier), Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher) and Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove).
Life takes an interesting turn when he and an agent Lucy Wilde (the voice of Kristin Wiig from ‘Bridesmaids’) go on a mission for the M16 Anti-Villain League. The lovable and clumsily violent minions are, of course, involved in this endeavour, adding their dose of madcap chaos to the mix.
Die-hard fans of the first film will likely air many grievances with ‘Despicable Me 2’, the biggest one stemming from lazy character development and some dispensable fruitcakes that do nothing for the plot.
Gru, who was so insecure and treacherous in the first film as he tried to steal the moon, has turned into this tiresome and conservative father figure in this second one, as he fusses over unnecessarily about his love interest and daughter.
Even daughters Margo and Agnes have fallen into stereotypical daughter archetypes, one being rebelliously in love and another craving motherly attention. The script is almost didactic and not at all despicable, as the title suggests.
It is apparent that ‘Despicable Me 2’ has gone down the same slippery slope as ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Shrek’, where the hype has grown too big for their own good. The numerous releases of theatrical trailers and featurettes with a laborious emphasis on the minions served only to heighten the audience’s expectation.
Though a disappointing sequel, it is still watchable and young children will still get a kick out of the show, thanks to the minions who are part of the winning formula, giving the film plenty of visual humour and a sense of the absurd. Fans of the yellow and awkward henchmen will be delighted to know a spin-off film, ‘Minions’, has been confirmed.
Look out for a dose of pop culture references with their rendition of ‘I Swear’ (‘Underwear’) and ‘YMCA’, which are the filmmakers’ secret wink to parents watching the show with their young ones.