July 4, 2013, - 8:57 am

“Despicable Me 2″: Terrific, Fun Movie Almost as Good as Original

By Debbie Schlussel

Longtime readers know I was a big fan of the original “Despicable Me” (read my review) in Summer 2010. The sequel, “Despicable Me 2,” in theaters now, isn’t as good, as sequels rarely are. Part of that stems from the fact that the main character is far more amusing as a villain than as a good guy. But it’s still very good and a great movie for kids AND adults.

despicableme2

Like the original, this movie is chock full of fun, fabulous animation that is eye candy extraordinaire. It’s cute, funny, and endearing. And it’s entertaining and original, in story and otherwise. I couldn’t say enough great things about the original, and this is up there. You needn’t see the original, though, to enjoy this and get what’s going on. You also don’t have to see this in 3D to enjoy it (though that’s how it was screened for critics).






The story: villain Gru (Steve Carell) is now reformed and no longer trying to steal the moon. As a father of the three orphan girls he adopted, he’s now a doting dad and maker of jellies and jams with Dr. Nefario (the loathsome Russell Brand). But he’s recruited by the Anti-Villain League, a secret world anti-crime organization, to stop a supervillain whose identity is unknown. He works with super agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) to try to uncover and stop the villain at the local mall where one of the shop owners is secretly the plotting criminal in disguise. The “Minions”–Grus loyal little yellow helpers–are back in spades and have a lot of great scenes.

The movie is far better than I’m making it sound. It’s hilarious, and a great escapism session at the movies. Well worth the money and one of the best movies so far this year.

THREE REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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10 Responses

This series sounds cute. I really liked “Coraline” so I bet I would like these two flicks. Nice to see a good review (even though I am impartial to bad reviews…the writing is always more fun, in general). (Remember “The Filthy Critic”? He was always so funny and over the top.)

Yes, that Russell Brand is indeed odious. When people are as open with their indignities and perversions as he is it’s always like looking at the most offensive thing on the planet. People like that have craven and putrified souls. And they may not know it but many people don’t look at them as dignified creatures.

(Any German speakers here? I have a question about Kristen Wiig’s last name. It drives me crazy. I have been learning German for a few years now and the proper way of pronunciation I leaned from my teacher (a native German) is that in German her named would be pronounced “VEE-itch” (IG at the end of a word is always pronounced ITCH and not IG like in English) but Yanks call her “Wig”. It just drives me crazy. But know if I didn’t know German I would also call her that (or maybe I would not know how to pronounce it…that extra “I” makes it difficult). But since I think I was taught proper that’s how I see it…but nobody else does (understandably).

Skunky on July 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    According to her website and Wikipedia, the surname is Norwegian, specifically from Sogn og Fjordane. Also from wikipedia, is this on Norwegian language: There is no officially sanctioned standard of spoken Norwegian, and most Norwegians speak their own dialect in all circumstances. So I guess “wig” stands as how to say her name.

    Off-topic language dorkiness follows…

    Not a German speaker, but where in Germany does the instructor hail from, and is there much attention on non-standard forms and regional pronunciation? People make a big to-do over the superficial regional variations in words/pronunciation in American English (like this interesting though pointless study http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/maps.html), but at least they’re mutually intelligible. But the schisms between standard German and local varieties is pretty steep. From John McWhorter’s Word on the Street:

    Standard: Putz deine Nase, Luislein! Du Brauchst keine Angst zu haben. Ich zahle alles. Du musst mir nur versprechen, dass du keinem Menschen sagst, wer der Vater ist.

    Schwabisch: Butz de Nas, Luisle! Du brauchsch koi Angscht hau, I zahl alles. Bloss muscht MR versprecha, dass de koim Mensche saisch, wer DR Vatter isch (I’ve capped what I suspect are errors in the conversion to e-book)

    Robert on July 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      You’re right Robert. My teacher was from Hamburg and I remember her telling us of dialect differences…especially in Bavaria…which I tended to prefer. I just also heard that the peeps are very friendly in Bavaria, so that might be the place to go.

      German is very close to Norwegian. So confusing. I was able to read the German you posted but I also see I better study more hard…I have much to learn and am not quite where I thought I was!!

      Skunky on July 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

More on topic, Despicable Me 2 has been KILLING it, and I’m definitely looking forward to this when the sell-outs stop. Easily 50% of our multiplex’s attendance has come from that one movie, while the other 8 movies are doing ho-hum. Lone Ranger hasn’t been bringing in the crowds, which is no surprise, as it looks like a boring turd to begin- the number of trailers I had to put on were obscene.

Robert on July 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

@Robert:

Been under the weather today so probably won’t get to see “Despicable Me 2″ until tomorrow. I am rooting for that AND Monsters University. The ending of Monsters’ University totally completely endorses a common theme of Debbie’s but I won’t say which because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen.

Gerald on July 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

My being under the weather has provided some side benefits though. I have been going through some of the more neglected DVDs in my collection. Watching “Peter and Paul” right now. When it ends, I will look at “God’s Outlaw: The Story Of William Tyndale.” (Yes, I am one of those “holy rollers” that Skunky looks down upon so a great deal of my DVD collection is religious, and I am looking to add more all the time.)

Any way, some evidence from Variety that your experience with Despicable Me versus The Lone Ranger at your local cineplex wasn’t anecdotal.

http://variety.com/2013/more/box-office/despicable-me-2-on-track-for-125-mil-while-lone-ranger-tanks-1200509356/

The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly say the same but I won’t post those because it would send this comment into moderation. (Yes, I read the Hollywood trade magazines, the movie sections only of course. I am a nerd. So sue me.)

Gerald on July 4, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    You miss understand me Gerald, but perhaps because I never explained for clarity.

    I am actually a DEFENDER of “holy rollers”. Especially since Libtards hate them so. I actually like “Holy Rollers” IF they are not fakers or fraudulent. I see Sue The Pom as a fake holy roller because she is just into proselytizing for numbers sake and doesn’t care about a person’s heart or helping them via religion. She has openly admitted she would not lift a finger to help another. That’s odious to me. I don’t like frauds. In any capacity.

    I also am not a fan of atheists but don’t mind them if they are not the sort to try to quell other’s religious freedoms. I don’t mind atheists IF they are not narcissists. Most are. The sort who are waaaaaay too smart to believe in a higher power. I’m not that egotistical.

    And even though I like gays you will find me sticking up for the “Holy Rollers” more in their freedom to proclaim they do NOT condone gay lifestyles…especially if they use the Bible for their reasoning. I believe strongly in the freedom of religion. And I look more to how people TREAT or act with those they disagree with than what prejudices they have in thought. Actions speak louder than words.

    I guess I was misunderstood, but as I said, I prolly never had the chance to clarify my position.

    I don’t respect Islam, Scientology and ANY “religion” that sacrifices animals. I don’t even bash Mormons which some “Holy Rollers” do (saying they are a cult).

    Skunky on July 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more if I tried, Debbie. I saw the film last night at my local one-screen cinema and absolutely adored it. The Minions are just such a genius creation. But yes. Wonderful fun from beginning to end.

Alison on July 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for reviewing a Kids’ film, and finding a good one I can watch with my munchkins.

Occam's Tool on July 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm

What a great name for an actor. People arguing about its pronunciation.

Like in Pfennig (fenich or fenik) I think it is pronounced veeich or veek.

Will see this movie.

Panhandle on July 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

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