Friday, July 12, 2013

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

Title: Despicable Me 2
Author: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction, Crime Fighting, Comedy
My Rating: ****
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 8+

Summary: Gru retired from crime a few years ago, after stealing the moon (and putting it back) and choosing life as a father of three adopted girls. Now, he's being pulled right back into the crime business--only on the other side. Gru has been recruited to help Agent Lucy track down the thief of an entire laboratory, and, more importantly, a dangerous serum. A serum so dangerous, it turns fluffy little while bunnies into giant crazed fluffy monsters with ears.
Gru isn't entirely sure of his new job, he's still trying to be a dad, his loyal evil scientist has left him, and Agent Lucy (his partner) is a little on the crazy side. As in, he's not sure what (or if) she's thinking.
Can Gru find the criminal before it's too late?

Word of Warning
(Please note: the minions are little yellow jelly-bean-shaped creatures, some with one eye and some with two, that do not speak English.)
This movie was just as funny (if not more) as the first one, but not as child-friendly. The plot revolves around a serum that turns living things into crazed monsters that eat everything in sight. That can be a little disturbing for younger children. A brief list of the main problems:
  • The humor is often a little on the sour side. There is the 22 fart gun salute, a minion who loses his clothing (left in some sort of frilly under-thing), a minion's bare backside, a minion wears a grass skirt and a coconut bikini, and several "cross-dressing" minions who have male names but put on women's clothing for various reasons.
  • People are shot with a tazer (this is portrayed comically).
  • Hundreds of innocent minions turn into crazed monsters that try to eat everything in sight. Gru, another man, and Gru's three daughters shoot these minions with jelly to turn them back, a pretty intense battle even if it is just jelly.
  • A man injects himself to turn into a monster like the minions.
  • Two characters kiss.
  • A very charming boy catches the attention of Margo, who falls in love with him, only to have him cheat on her when she is not paying attention.
  • Gru is an overly protective father, but comically so.
  • The freeze ray gun returns, and at least one person is frozen.
  • Theft, breaking and entering, and spying are shown (all done by the good guys).
  • A woman and a shark are tied to a rocket, along with dynamite, to be flown into a volcano. It is suggested that another man did the same and died.
  • Gru's neighbor is constantly trying to get him to go out with her various acquaintances. After being incredibly pushy, she finally succeeds. Gru goes out on a date with a woman in a very skin-tight dress. When Lucy sees this, she shoots the woman in the bottom with a moose tranquilizer, and when a concerned waiter asks what the matter is with the woman, Lucy suggests that she's had too much too drink. We see Gru and Lucy removing the woman's body in a not-so-careful way.
My Thoughts:
It was funny. Painfully, pointlessly, funny. Isn't that what happens when good writers tell us all about a bad guy turned good now trying to live a normal life? Yes, but this is better than most of those stories.
Still, much of the humor is what could be labeled as dirty. It's not clean, but not too inappropriate for children. Instead, it's the kind of humor parents try to keep their children from exhibiting. On top of that, the plot does revolve around living things being artificially modified (by a serum) and turned into out of control crazed monsters that are rather dangerous. Though the minions still look comical, in a scary crazy monster way, the concept here is more than disturbing.
The kids that loved Despicable Me a few years ago are ready now to enjoy the sequel, and a wonderful sequel it was. But introducing new and younger fans? I would question whether they are ready for this movie just yet.
As Stacy C and I walked out of the theater, we were both a little sore from laughing so hard. I suspect we spent most of the movie doing just that. While I would not share this movie with my youngest brother (who is five), I would watch it again, anytime, and laugh again, the entire time.


grandma jane said...

Sounds like maybe a movie made for families with slightly older kids. Is it animated? Wasn't sure, because I saw that character, 'Gru' on a TV show, a real person dressed in a costume resembling the Penguin from an older Batman movie. The minions sound cartoonish...
Happy to hear you laughed a lot...I think we need more movies to provide such belly laughs.
Thanks for another good review.

Maria Gianna said...

Grandma Jane,
It is a pretty good family movie for the slightly older kids. And yes, it is animated. I apologize for not making that clear, as I had intended to write "animated" in the posts of all movies that are.
Yes, it was full of good laughs. I like the drama story as much as the next person, but now and then I also like a good movie that is simply fun. That's what this movie was.