Thursday, September 05, 2013

Movie review: Despicable Me 2

Ok, so this movie has already left the major theaters and should be out on DVD in a month or two. I just saw it yesterday. And to think, five years ago I was telling you about movies before they hit the theater. Ah, well.

Despicable Me 2 is named after a similar movie that came before it called Despicable Me. And just like the preceding movie, it's really pretty funny. I had not just the theater, but the building to myself. Just me and the one staff member who was working tickets, concessions, janitorial, and the projector. And I laughed or snickered at some of the stupidest stuff. Some throw away lines were made funny just by the voice doing them. Some were genuinely unexpected. Some were just situational and almost background jokes. But the writers hadn't slacked off after the success of their first movie.

I was a bit worried at first. It really bothers me when they make a sequel just by taking characters from the first movie and making them spies. It's a common enough trope and it almost never works. Usually it means they were under pressure to make a sequel and had no good ideas. Kinda like when they want to make a TV show into a movie so the cast has to raise money in a hurry to save the lodge/orphanarium/school/etc. It worked for the Blues Brothers, but not for anyone else.

Maybe I didn't notice any gadget overload because Gru (our hero) is already a recovering mad scientist and wanna be world conqueror and is surrounded with gadgets. Or maybe it's just because it was actually funny and not a cruel distortion of liked characters.

Short version of the movie: Gru's lab has been turned into a jelly and jam factory now that he's gone straight. But his dad leaves because he loves being an evil genius. The neighbor lady keeps trying to set Gru, the single father, up with her single friends. An anti-bad guy organization wants to recruit Gru to go after a bad guy who stole a secret arctic research lab. Alas, they don't know who he is. Only that he spends time in this one mall. Presumably running a store. Gru and an energetic redhead spy are given a cupcake shop from which to scope things out.

OK, the figuring out who dunnit was a bit awkward. And the relationship between Gru and the redhead is a bit forced. But overall the movie was still pretty funny.

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