Who can resist those adorable, bouncing, language-less minions? Hardly anyone can, especially those knee-high sized minions that belong to all the parents out there. Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud knew those spongy yellow creatures would be the key to success for Despicable Me 2 (DM2); however, the plot suffers from a lack of attention.
Gru (Steve Carell) has given up his villainous ways to become a full time dad to the girls, and started working on a legitimate business venture. Meanwhile, someone has stolen a dangerous serum that, in the wrong hands, could be devastating to the world. Gru is contacted by a secret government agency who wants to use his villain expertise to track down the culprit. Paired with the super-feminine yet exuberantly tough Agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Gru sets out to hunt down the bad guy while inadvertently finding love in the process. Oh, and antics ensue.
Unfortunately, “antics” entirely summarizes the plot – well, aside from the multiple montages, half of which are completely composed of antics themselves. Most adults will see this sequel as a blatant cash-grab since there just isn’t a convincing or necessary story being told. DM2 is unapologetic in its riding of Despicable Me‘s coattails. However, the plot they hand us still has generic but decent qualities to it. Characters must learn to be brave, overcome obstacles with heart, and do the right thing.
The real reason everyone wants to see DM2 is the minions. We all wanted more of them in the last movie, and Universal Pictures grants our wishes in spades. Many scenes revolve completely around them, with most of their humor being aimed at the tots in the audience. Last time there were quite a few laughs catered to adults, but here they have chosen (nine times out of ten) to go with low humor. Fart jokes, blunders, exaggerated fight scenes, and slapstick rule this Despicable roost. Adults will laugh occasionally and chuckle a few times, but it’s the kids in the audience who are going to be doubled over in their seats.
If there is one thing both the adults and children can appreciate, it’s the CGI. The animation is incredible and the 3D technology is creatively used, though it starts to feel a little gimmicky. With the target audience being kids, it’s understandable that DM2 would choose to use quite a few gags with the 3D – things constantly fly at the screen and there are a couple of first-person style scenes that mimic the feeling of being on a roller coaster. Still, the 3D entirely enhances the animations, making you feel as if you are really there amongst the minions.
Other than poor plot choices and cheap-shot humor, there is little else to hold against DM2. If you’re in the mood for a light comedy, are looking to beat the summer heat, or you just can’t stand the pleading eyes of your little ones any longer, Despicable Me 2 isn’t a terrible way to spend an hour and thirty-eight minutes.