By Eddie Burton (New Jersey)
It’s worth noting that this film is not necessary whatsoever. If this film was never made, it wouldn’t affect me any different from how I am after seeing the film. Which is one of the problems with the movie. It’s not really that memorable and doesn’t leave much of an impact.
The movie once again focuses on Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, as he is unwillingly chosen to find and stop an evil genius from, what else, taking over the world. He’s partnered with quirky bimbo agent Lucy voiced by Kristin Wig, who plays this character very similar to how she plays Lola Bunny in The Looney Tunes Show, which does get very distracting. Her performance in Despicable Me 2 is almost a carbon copy of her performance in The Looney Tunes Show. So it seems more out of place than anything else. I am one of the few that enjoy The Looney Tunes Show and I enjoy her as Lola Bunny, but I would rather see her diversify herself and bring something new to the role of Lucy.
Another problem with the film is Steve Carell as Gru and the reason for that is the voice. The character Gru is a great character but the voice doesn’t fit at all and is so over the top and obnoxious that it doesn’t kill the character but does make him less enjoyable then he could be. Steve Carell is a talented comedian and funny in most of his films. Even when his movie sucks, he does bring in an entertaining performance. Sometimes the voice does work and complements the character but it’s a dime a dozen.
What is very noticeable in this film that differs from the first is that in this film there is much more comedy and less touching moments. That was one of the best aspects about the first, the fact that they had many touching moments and didn’t focus so much attention on the comedy. In this film, the comedy plays a much bigger role and the touching moments aren’t focused on as much, if at all. It’s a flaw for me but I see how it can be a positive for others. The reason I see it as a flaw is because it prevents further development and growth to our characters. I just wish we could’ve gotten more development to our characters. With that being said though, the humor is very good.
The comedy is so quick witted, fast paced, and clever, in particular, the slapstick. A nitpick would be that I wish the humor would be a little darker. I had the same complaint with the first film in that instead of just relating to the younger demographic, I wish they could’ve took more risk and made the comedy a little darker and less cute. However for what I saw, it was well worth the money. The animation is very good and I love the movement of our characters, the atmosphere, and the world that’s shown in such grand scale. I enjoy the colors and how everything looks.
The minions steal the show hands down. They are so funny and so entertaining which is why I’m so bothered that the film didn’t go darker. You can use the minion characters for lighter comedy and Gru for the darker more serious comedy. But that’s just my personal tastes and opinion. Again, for what was given to me I got my money’s worth, but God just thinking about what could’ve been if they had just taken more chances.
The villain isn’t much to get excited for. If anything he’s downplayed in the film. It’s hard to believe that Al Pacino signed up for a film where he got only 15 minutes of screen time at the most. Therefore it doesn’t make it as hard to believe that Al Pacino dropped out of the film due to creative differences. But I digress. Another aspect of the film worth mentioning is the fact that Gru’s daughters aren’t given much screen time either. Much like the villain, they’re downplayed. However, if the villain wasn’t in the film, it would’ve changed the movie. If the girls weren’t in this film, it wouldn’t affect the film at all. They just don’t leave much impact either.
So with all that said, it is a film that is worth seeing in theaters and worth the money. But don’t expect it to be a favorite on any list because it’s forgettable, and not as heartfelt as the first one was. While the humor is very strong and the minions are a ton of fun to watch as well as Gru, despite my complaints about the voice, it just doesn’t come close to the first. I wish the first and second connected better, but it’s still worth seeing and for the whole family.