Despicable Me 2 (2013)

WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!!

Starring
Steve Carell as Gru
Kristen Wiig as Lucy
Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo / El Macho
Miranda Cosgrove as Margo
Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario
Ken Jeong as Floyd
Steve Coogan as Silas
Elsie Kate Fisher as Agnes
Dana Gaier as Edith
Moises Arias as Antonio
Nasim Pedrad as Jillian
Kristen Schaal as Shannon
Pierre Coffin as Kevin/Bob/Stuart Minions

Directed by
Pierre Coffin / Chris Renaud

Length 98mins














 

Review and Summary

I have to admit I don’t know who was looking forward to this movie more, my two kids or I, and I am happy to say we were not disappointed. A lot of times with a sequel to an animated movie you have to worry that quality will lose out to the need to make more money. When that happens you get a poor product that pales in comparison to the original. As an example look at Disney’s Lilo and Stich, the sequel (Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) wasn’t even close to the same production value. Fortunately level heads prevailed and Despicable Me 2 was kept to the same high level of quality that the original set forth.

Basically Gru has settled in to being a dad. He and the gang are actively carrying out a birthday party for Agnes. He even jumps in to be the hero that Dads are when the Fairy Princess cancels, and he won’t let Agnes be disappointed. The other thing going on is the whole “Let’s-fix-up-the –Single-Dad-matchmaking-game”, Gru’s neighbor Jillian is actively pursuing getting him hooked up. However, we also learn that Gru has had previous encounters with the opposite sex that were less than successful (“He has Gru-otties!!!”).

Since the first outing, Gru and company have gone legitimate, and in fact he has put all his amazing resources towards making Jelly’s and possibly even expanding out to a line of Jam’s. However, Dr Nefario isn’t quite happy with all the possibilities that a legal business offers and tells Gru he is moving on and accepting another employment opportunity to return to the evil/criminal scientist side of things. Gru and company take this well, and the Doctor’s proper sendoff is gaseous to say the least, but well done.

Meanwhile……

At an Artic Research station, doing experiments on PX-47, a new evil mastermind makes their presence known, by effectively high jacking the whole place using a wonderfully done magnet ship. The AVL, or Anti-Villain League is stumped as to who it is, but they have tracked traces of the PX-47 formula to a local mall. But they need someone with special skills to track them down. That special someone turns out to be Gru, Special Agent Lucy Wild is sent to retrieve him.

The retrieval itself is extremely entertaining, and was the focus of several of the Trailers for the movie. In its full blown sequence it doesn’t disappoint.

Once Gru, Lucy, and Minions Dave and Stuart make it to the AVL’s submarine base, we get the whole low down on the AVL. They don’t waste their time on small things, ie: robbing banks, murder, but the big things, like stealing the moon is what wets their appetite, as does the theft of the PX-47, which has disastrous consequences for rabbits and other animals that it can transform into gru-esome creatures. However, Gru turns them down, he’s a Dad, and he has the Jelly and Jam business.

Later on, after a few too normal life events happening, Gru signs up for action. He, Lucy and several of the minions are sent to the mall in question to open up and run a cover as bakers for Bake My Day (keep your eyes open during the Mall Scenes, lots of great gags). At this point Lucy starts to open up and shows her interest in Gru. However, Gru is totally oblivious.

Enter Eduardo from Salsa & Salsa. Benjamin Bratt brings the character to life that is somewhere between Nacho Libre and Juandissimo Magnifico (Faily Odd Parents). His dancing and flamboyancy is enough for Gru to see through to his actual persona of El Macho! El Macho is sooo… Macho that all of his evil schemes only required his bare hands to be carried out. However, he was supposed to have died, tied to a great white shark, strapped with missiles and bombs, as he dove into a live volcano.

Gru and Lucy continue to search around the Mall looking for clues as to who stole the PX-47. To further complicate things, after a mismanaged search thru Salsa & Salsa, Gru is trapped into a blind date from hell. Lucy comes to his rescue and helps him get out of it with a little bit of mild Moose tranquilizer. In the course of this she tells Gru that she thinks he looks good without hair. Suddenly Gru realizes that she may be the one. After a series of practices to ask her out, and mishaps (the firefighting minion skit is great), his eyes are opened and love is in the air.

Unfortunately, Gru isn’t the only one in love, as Margo meets up with and swoons over Antonio, Eduardo/El Macho’s son. Based on his dislike for this situation more than anything else he pushes AVL to arrest Eduardo and his son. However, it falls on deaf ears. From readings of PX-47 at the local hair restoration store, the AVL’s chief decides to move on in and arrest Floyd the owner of the wig store. Thus releasing Gru from AVL, and to make it worse Lucy is being transferred to Australia.

As you can imagine Gru is devastated. There is a tender scene between Agnes and Gru as they sit in the rain and talk about the situation. To help move on, Gru concedes to going to Eduardo’s Cinco-de-mayo party so that Margo can see Antonio.

Meanwhile, all the while this has been going on, the minions have been disappearing in various ways, and to the point that only a few are left. We learn that they have all ended up in Minion paradise, where it is a party 24x7. Things are of course too good to be true, as Kevin and another of the minions is strapped down and given a dose of PX-47. It’s enough to make them indestructible, crazed purple monsters. El Macho now has his army to take over the world.

Gru follows El Macho into his hidden layer at the house, and soon discovers the plans, with the help of El Macho’s villain monolog. We also learn that Dr Nefario is working for Macho, but he has a change in heart. As Gru escapes with the kids, El Macho turns Evil Minion Kevin loose and tells him to get Gru. Just in time for Lucy to show up, after realizing that Gru is her true love and jumping from the plane to pursue her heart’s desire. Unfortunately El Macho captures her and plans to use her to get to Gru.

Gru sets out to rescue Lucy. In the meantime, Evil Minion Kevin is stopped from getting Edith, Agnes, and Margo, as Dr Nefario shows up back at the house and slips Kevin the antidote for PX-47.

As Gru and his minions attack El Macho’s mansion, they have to fight their way through the evil minion army. As it seems that all hope is lost, Dr Nefario and the girls arrive, loaded with Antidote Jelly (he had to use all that bad jelly they made for something) in guns. As they cover for Gru, turning all the evil minions back to good guys, Gru has a final showdown with El Macho.

In a scene reminiscent of Alien Nation’s ending (the movie with James Caan and Mandy Patinkin), El Macho downs a huge dose of PX-47. He himself ends up turning into a big purple beast, almost Sully like in nature (Monster Inc, and Monsters University). As they fight back and forth, and with no antidote left, Gru is able to win using Lucy’s Lipstick Tazer, shocking isn’t it.

But it’s not over yet. El Macho has strapped Lucy to a great white shark, strapped with missiles and bombs, and fires her off heading for a live volcano. “Gru” love wins and she is saved as they figure out that yes they love each other.
The movie finishes with Gru and Lucy getting married with all the family and friends present. The minions provide the entertainment musically and there are some great parodies.

So what’s good??
  Everything!! Simply EVERYTHING!! I kid you not, this movie is a 10 out of 10 overall. Its witty, funny, and just worth the price of admission.
  The quality of the animation is superb, and there is great continuity between the first movie and this one.


Whats bad??
  I wouldn’t call this bad, just disappointing. Gru’s mom and his next door neighbor Fred are present in some of the scenes, but there are no lines for them at all. Julie Andrews who voiced the mother in the first film had a lot of great lines and chemistry with Steve Carell. Fred, voiced by Danny McBride, also provided a great sparring partner to the developing Gru. Maybe it was cost or schedules, but I do think that they missed something in not including them both in this one.


Bottom Line:
This is a great movie, it’s worth the price of admission and more. This will definitely be a Buy It when released on Gru-Ray/DVD!

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