We desperately needed a packing break, so we hit the first matinee for Despicable Me 2 yesterday morning before going out to lunch. Surprisingly, the sequel holds up pretty well.
Gru faces a range of problems in the first five minutes of the film, ranging from the fairy he hired for Agnes's birthday canceling way PAST the last minute to Dr. Nefarious quitting because Gru just isn't evil enough any more. The funniest bits are the next-door-neighbor constantly trying to set Gru up with her friends and Margo's new-found interest in the opposite sex.
In the middle of the family drama, an MI6-type organization tries to hire Gru to find a stolen secret serum because with three daughters and the fact that he stole then returned the moon, he's no longer considered a super-villain.
1) One of the best things about the original was that the Minions didn't take over the movie. The matching best thing about the sequel is that not only are the Minions integral to the plot, but we find out how much Gru considers them family as well.
2) Benjamin Bratt! He was the only reason I watched Law &Order. (Yes, I AM that superficial,) Mr. Bratt does a fanta-bulous job that you don't miss Al Pacino as Gru's antagonist. And if you're like me, you didn't even KNOW that Al Pacino was supposed to be in this movie.
3) Neither the girls or the love interest were helpless females. They ALL kicked ass in this movie.
4) Mr. Ramsbottom, aka Mr. Sheepsbutt. Yes, I am that juvenile. More so than my thirteen-year-old son.
5) Other than one scene that ran five seconds too long, DM2 didn't go ape-shit crazy with the 3D effects like Oz: The Great and Powerful did. Tasteful, guys. Tasteful.
1) In an otherwise perfect movie, there was a sexism issue that really bothered me. Why do we still consider men to be incompetent parents? Margo, Edith and Agnes are safer and better-cared for with Gru than they ever were at the orphanage with Miss Hattie. This sexism leads to an almost palpable obsession to set Gru up with a woman. The writers could have still had a lot of fun with neighbor Jillian's match-making attempts without letting anything happen--yet.
As a result of this obsession for pairing, the romance between Gru and Lucy felt rushed and forced. I'm not saying that the element totally failed. I just think it would have worked better in a third movie and it should have been given more time. This movie could have had everything, but the Lucy subplot, and still been an excellent story. I would have rather seen Lucy, Sheepsbutt and their Anti-Villain League in a third movie that could have expanded on the girls' growing up issues.
Over all, I give Despicable Me 2 a 9 out of 10, but Pharell Williams and Heitor Pereira's soundtrack gets a perfect score!
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