If you got caught up watching the many trailers for “Despicable Me” then you would probably go to the film expecting something very different than what it actually is. In actuality it is at times a dark comedy, at others a cutesy comedy, throw in some slapstick, and then finally has an emotional finale. Much different than what I expected. I thought it was going to be another silly animated film, but it was an intelligent one told in fable style. A welcome deviation from the standard kids’ film.
There is nothing that a movie-going audience likes better than a scene stealing villain. Especially if he is an odd-looking animated character. In all truth the story about two competing villains is not an original one. Nor is it new to see a bad guy have his heart softened by a child (or three, in this case). But the way they mesh these two stories together is quite original. Also the twists and turns keep you guessing which is not something that you usually have to do with an animated feature.
Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a sadistic creature who enjoys bringing misery to others. But underneath it all he is a man who was moulded by a cruel mother (voiced by Julie Andrews), who always made him feel like he wasn’t good enough. Because of this loveless upbringing, Gru spends his days harassing people and believing himself to be the number one criminal in the world. He is so good at what he does that Gru has a legion of minions (who provide much of the comic relief) working for him and his own mad scientist, Dr. Nefarious (voiced by Russell Brand). But his whole world is turned upside down when a new kid on the criminal mastermind block named Vector (voiced by Jason Segal) steals his thunder. This new guy proves his point when he steals a pyramid.
Not willing to be second fiddle, Gru decides to come up with a bigger heist. He plots to steal the moon. Stockpiling shrink rays, freeze rays and land/air battle vehicles, Gru is ready to do what no one else has dared attempt and regain his criminal mastermind throne. A large wrench is thrown into his plan when three young orphaned girls, Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier) and Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher), don’t see him as a dastardly guy, but as their potential father.
Bottom line the film is charming without being corny, absurd, intelligent, and hilarious in parts. Humour, action and heart in an animated film – who could ask for anything more?
Despicable Me 2 directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud:
Fun! Fun! Fun! Okay, that is my review…
Are you still here? Expecting more? Well, I really cannot sum it up more concisely or better than that, but here goes…
After not having seen the first Despicable Me I really did not know what to expect. I knew people liked the first one. Especially those little yellow Minions. In my experience rare is it that the sequels live up to the bar set by beloved originals. I’m here to tell you that Despicable Me 2 is a lotta fun. Plenty of laughs due to silliness and intelligent humour. Enjoyable for kids and adults.
What is fresh and particularly enjoyable about the Despicable Me films is that the villain or bad guy is the protagonist. This time around he is not a bad guy, though.
Gru (Steve Carell – The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Date Night) has devoted himself to raising his three adopted daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove – Despicable Me, School of Rock), Edith (Dana Gaier – appeared in an episode of 30 Rock) and Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher – from television’s Masha and the Bear). Realizing that being a super villain is not really a good role model for such young, impressionable kids he is now managing a company that makes manufacturing jellies with flavour developer, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand – Get Him to the Greek, Saving Sarah Marshall). His idyllic existence is shook up when another villain steals a formula that puts the entire world in danger.
The Anti-Villain League headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan – Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum) recruits Gru to help them stop this new bad guy. Gru works with a partner, the silly ginger Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids, Paul), and he soon develops romantic feelings for her.
The film is really joke heavy. Once they started coming they never stopped. Plenty of laughter to be heard throughout the theatre from all age categories.
Once again the little yellow Minions steal the film. They are a scream. Even though you cannot understand one word they are saying. This makes them even funnier as every noise/sound that they make elicited laughter from me. Kids will once again love the Minions as they are energetic and full of mischief.
There are a couple of new characters that I enjoyed. The best of the lot is Lucy Wilde/Kristen Wiig with all her frenetic energy she is a riot. Vibrant enough a character that she does not get pushed to the background. Another one of my favourites was Dr. Nefario/Russell Brand. Now, I am admittedly a huge Russell Brand fan, so it is hard for me to tell if he was good or I was mesmerized by my affection for him. All I know is that I wanted the character to have more screen time.
Besides the expected humour there was also plenty of heart to the film. Directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud injected a warm and emotional facet. Love is a central theme in the film.
The visuals are great. Colourful and lively they really captivate your eyes. The characters are animated very well making them seem very realistic. It really makes the film come to life.
Also what was enjoyable was that it was not the same story over again. It was completely different and original. The same characters are there from the first film, but it is almost like they are real and have matured and developed.
Minions directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin:
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Candy and Minions fit into that category. Both are good in small doses but when you get too much then you just end up with a tummy ache. In the Despicable Me films the yellow organisms known as Minions which speak an incomprehensible language made people young and old laugh with delight. They were cheeky and funny. A great combo. Now, like many other animated supporting acts, that they have their own show you realize quite quickly that they are better in small doses.
Despite the fact that there is plenty of classic rock music courtesy of The Kinks, The Who and The Beatles most adults watching this will want to jump out of their skin by the end of the ninety-one minutes run time of the film. Listening to the unintelligible dialogue of the Minions for an hour and a half is too much to ask for from any sane adult.
As for kids they will love it as the comedy found here comes fast and furious and in large doses. Those behind the film obviously are tuned into what makes kids laugh and go to that well time and time again. There is plenty of falling down, characters having heavy things fall on them and other infantile forms of slapstick comedy happening. This is basically a film of different skits or scenes being piled on top of one another without much respect given to story development. Meaning that nothing really happens in the film besides the aforementioned nonsense.
Another film in which paying to see it in 3D is a waste of money. The 3D makes everything rather murky and does not at all enhance the film.
Minions is a prequel to them appearing in the Despicable Me films – basically an origin story. The Minions, if you are not familiar with them they are googly-eyed, banana yellow things that are mostly shaped like pills, had a whole existence before they hooked up with Gru to become his henchmen. This is their story.
Basically they started as single cell yellow organisms and evolve. During the course of their existence they end up hooking up with some of the more despicable characters throughout history. They have served under such evil beings as T-Rex dinosaurs and Napoleon. Suddenly they find they have no one to serve and become rather depressed about the whole situation. One Minion named Kevin (all Minions are voiced by Pierre Coffin) along with his friends Stuart and Bob go out into the world with a plan to change things for their kind.
While looking for someone evil to follow they come upon a family called the Nelsons. They tag along with the Nelsons to Villain Con, a convention where all villains meet. There they meet up with a powerful female baddie named Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). It is a match made in heaven because it just so happens that world’s most powerful villain is looking for henchmen. By a fluke Bob (and by association all Minions) wins the contest to become her henchmen.
Back at Scarlet’s castle she gives the Minions (all come to join in the fun) their first assignment. They are to steal the crown of the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II (voiced by Jennifer Saunders). As they are fairly bumbling things don’t work out exactly as Scarlet hopes. In the end it turns out that a young Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) ends up as the Minions task master.
- Mini-Movies (1080p, Dolby Digital 5.1): Three shorts inspired by the Minions universe.
- CroMinion (425): Minions are left in charge of a prehistoric baby.
- Binky Nelson Unpacified (4:34): Binky tries to locate his missing pacifier a la Mission: Impossible.
Competition (3:47): A few minions go head to head against one another.
- Deleted Scene (1080p, 0:29): Me, Myself and Stuart.
- Around the World Interactive Map (1080p): Once you select different points on the map it reveals several video and photo features.
- Behind the Goggles — The Illumination Story of The Minions (1080p): Several featurettes are found within an interactive headquarters building. A couple of Easter eggs to be found her.An interactive “headquarters” building reveals various featurettes.
- Writers (3:38): Screenwriter Brian Lynch talks about the history of the Minions and answers some questions about them.
- The Boss’ Office (4:48): Illumination Founder and Producer Chris Meledandri looks back on the franchise.
- Art Dept. (3:32): Character Designer Eric Guillon, Art Director Oliver Adam, and Writer Brian Lynch talks about the evolution and design of the Minions.Guillon’s contributions are in French with English subtitles.
- Recording Studio (2:46): Composer Heitor Pereira, Producer Janet Healy, Illumination Founder and Producer Chris Meledandri, and Directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin engage in a discussion about the music in the film.
- The Break Room: A fun collection of Minion bulletin board materials.
- Jingle Bells Minions Style (1080p, 1:52): Jingle Bells performed as only the Minions could.
- The Secret Life of Pets — Summer 2016 (1080p, 2:33): A preview for the upcoming movie4
- -3 Minion mini-movies
- Gru’s Girls
-A Gru-Some Transformation
-El Hombre Malo