Wednesday, January 22, 2014

RBR: Despicable Me 2

The first Despicable Me was a pleasant surprise thanks to the wonderful voice work by Steve Carell and the story containing a lot more heart than you would expect given that it centered around a notorious supervillian and his quest to take over the world. Given its box office success it was only natural that a sequel would be made in short order. This second effort contains some of the same charm as the original, but also feels like a missed opportunity. This time around Gru (Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help stop another evil villain. There are two problems with this set-up. First, the actions of the villain in question are rather undefined so it becomes hard to become invested in seeing him captured. Second, the Anti-Villain League quickly dumps Gru after he opts to focus on a criminal that the organization does not believe is the culprit. It makes you wonder why they bothered seeking out a villain in the first place if they were simply going to dismiss him so quickly. Really all of that set-up is a lazy way to pair up Gru and a female agent who works for the AVL who has the hots for him. Of course being a sequel the film also amps up the amount of screen time for Gru's Minions. This is a case where more is not exactly more. Overall, this sequel still has some decent laughs and looks great but remains underwhelming. Kids will no doubt love it, but for everyone else they are better off rewatching the first film. Rating: ***

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