Animadversion: Despicable Me 2 by Farheen Jawaid

This post is the original, unedited, copy of the review published in Images on Sunday – Dawn Newspaper, on 21 July 2013.


Despicable, All Over Again

By Farheen Jawaid

2010’s semi enjoyable “Despicable Me” is back with a “2” attached to its title, this time delivering a sequel that’s only half enjoyable as the first.

Continuing from the first, we find ex-super villain Gru (Steve Carell) living a normal life with his three adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher). He is a reformed man from his evil days, who now throws birthday parties and tries to succeed in a new Jam and Jelly business, made fresh in his old lair – which no one can eat, including his yellow, tablet shaped gibberish talking “minions”.

Despicable Me 2 (3)

However, a secret agency named the Anti-Villain League (AVL) wants an ex-super villain on their side to nab a new super villain, who has stolen a lab that creates a mutation chemical. To aid in Gru’s mission AVL assigns klutzy agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig), who from the first scene is his obvious love interest.

As “Me 2” progresses, the mutation chemical is narrowed down to a Mall. Here Gru, Lucy and a couple of minions work undercover in a cupcake shop, where two suspects – Eduardo a Mexican restaurant owner (an over the top and highly likeable Benjamin Bratt) and Floyd a wig shop owner (Ken Jeong) – are narrowed down.

Like “Despicable Me”, “Me 2” has stayed true to its original demographics of preteen and youngsters, concentrating on the bare-bones of a plot that’s helped by skits popping out every few minutes.

Directors’ Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, hold tightly to what had worked in the first (the minions, Gru’s family and stuffed-in comedy sketches). Only this time they multiply each of these aspects out of proportion.

Despicable Me 2 (2)

What we get in turn are half developed side stories, conceived and concluded with the emotional depth of a lifeless wooden board.

“Despicable Me 2” is too kiddie friendly and in consequence becomes parent repellent, which bars it from being truly enjoyable for all ages. Its only saving grace are the minions who are still doing their weird best.

No wonder, Illumination Entertainment (the producers of the movie) are bringing a solo minions adventure next.

Distributed by Universal Pictures, “Despicable Me” is rated PG for some rude humor.

The published version is here:

July 21 2013 (FullPage)

July 21 2013 (Despicable Me 2)


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