Ooh this will be my first sub-100 view day for a while won’t it? I knew it had to happen 😦 I had a good run *closes blog*
ANYWAY last night I saw the sequel to 2010’s modestly-budgeted sleeper smash “Despicable Me”. I only caught up with the first film on DVD last year, and was surprised by how well it balanced strong emotional themes with humour. OK it wasn’t the most sophisticated film – aimed at a younger audience than the usual snarky CGI movies, it relied heavily on slapstick and fart jokes.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that though, I’m certainly immature enough to enjoy a fart joke. That theme continues into the sequel, so I might not have been rolling in the aisles with laughter, there was enough peripheral fun to entertain me. To be honest, the exaggerated mannerisms of most of the characters – usually to a ludicrous degree – was funny for the most part, and the chaotic energy the film had worked really well.
The characters were well-rounded, from Steve Carrell’s crabby heart-of-gold villain Gru, Kristin Wiig’s manic partner Lucy, to the girls in varying shades of childhood archetypes (unicorn-obsessed pre-teen, tomboy tween, bookish goody-goody highschooler). Other supporting characters like Steve Coogan’s flabby-faced Brit Silas, possibly-offensive-to-Mexicans El Macho, and cackling nuisance Jillian were a little 2D but memorable additions, to the join legions of grinning, gurning, insane background characters.
The story is nothing new, but easy to get on board with, and also ties in nicely with Gru’s adopted daughters. I do wonder what happened to the oldest girl’s story arc though, what was the lesson? Boys ARE shit? After Gru’s meddling it didn’t seem that either party really learned anything, and poor Margo was just left by the wayside to make way for more screen-time for adorably cute Agnes. The middle child was there too, apparently.
The point I really get stuck on is the excessive use of Gru’s yellow Tic-Tac-bodied minions. Burbling away in nonsense language, months before the film’s release they were clearly being lined up as the real stars of the franchise, presumably coming to Happy Meals near you soon. So marketable that they are getting the chance to jump the shark in their own spin-off movie out next year.
While they had a few good moments I just sort of got sick of them, and their joke wore a bit thin early on. Their monstrous counterparts were a nice twist, but I think the needed to dial down the minions a bit this time.
This might not sound like a very positive review, but really I did enjoy it. It didn’t blow my mind but it was certainly very enjoyable and worth seeing if you have even a vague interest in CGI animation films these days, given the drek we usually end up with.