Weekend Viewing Roundup: Mini[on] review of Despicable Me 2

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope your Summer weekend was a fun one! It’s a mellow one after a hectic few weeks for me, though my hubby’s triathlon race can’t be described as such. Strong thunderstorm nearly canceled the entire thing, but fortunately the short distance still went on, phew! So, did you see any new releases this weekend? Ah well, looks like Pacific Rim actually lost to two sequels. I guess it’s to be expected that Despicable Me 2 would reign at the box office but man, apparently 7% Rotten Tomatoes score doesn’t deter people from going to see Grown Ups 2 [shrugs], earning a whopping $42 mil, which is $4 mil more than Pacific Rim 😦


My weekend watching:

MansfieldPark1999Mansfield Park (1999) – rewatch

ACatinParis
A Cat in Paris
(2010)


And here’s my mini review of…

DESPICABLE ME 2

DespicableMe2_Banner
When I first rented the first movie, I instantly fell in love with those yellow minions, so I was thrilled when I heard they had a bigger part in this movie. In this sequel, ex-supervillain Gru (Steve Carrell) is adjusting to family life, as adopted father to three adorable girls Margo, Edith and Agnes. He and his crew of Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his legion of minions now attempt an honest living in the jam & jelly business. That is until the Anti-Villain League (AVL) enlist his help to investigate the latest major heist of a secret Arctic lab.

The movie is as fast-paced as the original, it didn’t take long before I was swept away into the colorful world of Gru & co. The whole kidnapping scene has a playful homage to 007, complete with the amphibious car/boat/plane a la The Spy Who Loved Me). The arrival of a couple of new characters add a dose of fun and hilarity to the story: Lucy Wilde, Gru’s AVL partner and Eduardo, owner of a Mexican restaurant Salsa, in the mall where Gru & Lucy’s going undercover. Lucy’s pretty much tailored perfectly for Kristen Wiig‘s comedic chops, but Benjamin Bratt actually has pretty good comic timing. Oh, I also love Steve Coogan as the AVL director Silas Ramsbottom. Just like the minions, Silas and Eduardo already look hilarious before they even opens their mouths!

DespicableMe2_Stills

I find Gru to be a pretty fun and likable lead due to Carrell’s charms, but it’s hard to refute that the wacky-but-lovable minions supplied the most laugh-out-loud moments in their endless mischief and shenanigans! Kudos to Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud for creating such uproariously funny characters with these minions, even creating a certain ‘minion language’ that’s all their own but somehow still make out what they’re saying. At the same time, I do think they might work better as supporting characters though, as they might be overwhelming if the movies revolves entirely on these mischievous little guys!

I have to say though that the story is pretty thin, as the creators rely heavily on these irresistible characters. The plots are predictable and the even mawkish at times, but yet this movie still delivers on a fun family entertainment. The scenes of Gru and his girls, especially the adorable Agnes (Elsie Fisher), who dreams of having her own mother, tugs your heartstrings. I think the moral of the story about family and loyalty comes across, which is quite a feat in itself as it could’ve easily been drowned out by the riotous energy of the supervillains battle. I wish I had gone to a matinee showing though, I don’t know that it’s worth $10 at the cinema. I didn’t go for the 3D but the visuals are certainly gorgeous to look at, which is to be expected as the quality of animated features have improved significantly in the past few years. I’d say, if you like the first movie, then you probably get a kick out of this one as well.

Three and a half stars out of Five

3.5 out of 5 reels


So that’s my weekend folks, what did YOU watch this weekend?

35 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup: Mini[on] review of Despicable Me 2

  1. Ted S.

    I didn’t see anything new this weekend, hopefully I’ll win free passes to see Pacific Rim at the IMAX theater sometime next week, I had to wait a while to win them for Man of Steel. Although I did watch Daredevil, picked up the BD at Best Buy for only $8. I haven’t seen it since I saw it on DVD 10 years ago, hoping it would be better than I remember, sadly I was wrong. It was as bad as I remembered, even worse now considering how comic book films has evolved. Bad effects, cheesy dialogues and a plot that didn’t go anywhere, it’s a bad film.

    I always wanted to watch Despicable Me, maybe I’ll buy the first and second film on BD and watch them with my niece and nephew the next time I babysit them.

    1. We might see Pac Rim again on the proper IMAX at the zoo, I can get discounted tickets at the office. Ahah, you BOUGHT Daredevil?? I haven’t seen it yet but Ivan said it’s so awful so I don’t think I’ll ever do.

      Despicable Me is definitely a great one for babysitting, something for ALL ages!

  2. I still haven’t seen the first Despicable Me, although it’s been recommended to me by practically everyone! I saw Monsters University and loved it! For me, it’s almost as good as the original. Hoping to catch Pacific Rim at some point this week.

    1. Hi Chris! I think it’s worth a rent, but in terms of story, I do think Pixar is still the one to beat. Glad to hear you love Monsters U. I’ll be seeing Pac Rim again this weekend 😀

  3. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    ‘A Cat in Paris’ is a neat little piece of animation. With a late 1950s, early 1960s beatnik, what today would be called “Hipster” feel mixed with a very fluid style.

    As a life long “Cat Person” with five freeloaders in my back yard. I heartily approve!

    Nothing new this weekend. I did complete a critique of a few films with Stacy Keach for Michael. Still trying to decide on your gracious invitation to focus some attention on Roman Polanski.

    1. Hello Jack!! Ahah yeah, it’s very hipster indeed by today’s standards. I love the flat animation style, the visuals are just gorgeous!! I love cats too, I used to have a few of those ‘free loaders’ growing up, but now I have no pets.

      YAY! Glad to hear you’ll be doing a Polanski post. Feel free to pick a movie to review or do a ‘Best Of’ list, whatever you decide to do, I’m sure it’ll be excellent!

    1. Where are you off to, Fernando? Best of luck on your trip. I generally hate watching movies on the plane as the picture quality is sooo awful. Yeah, better use the time for sleeping, ahah.

  4. Just watched ‘Magnificient Seven’ -otherwise busy moving and traveling! Not much out for me to look forward to in the immediate future except The Wolverine and Elysium.

    1. Hi Cindy, always nice to see you stop by. Awesome! Those are two I’m looking forward to as well, screening for Wolverine next week, can’t wait!

  5. Glad you liked it, Ruth. I’m not a fan of the first film, but I might rent this one.

    I didn’t get to Pacific Rim this weekend, but I did see some great ones, including Gomorrah and Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories.

    1. Yeah, just give it a rent if that’s the case Josh, it’s really quite fun!

      I heard about Gomorrah, but looks way too violent for my taste though.

  6. I watched more series than movies (as always) … I am enjoying, but not so much, Under The Dome. I watch the series and reread the book at the same time. i am planning to write a comparison.

    Despicable me is quite famous here…I haven’t watched it but everyone has been twitting about it. I don’t fancy Russel Brand at all, even though he and Noel are friends.

    1. I watched the trailer for Under The Dome, looks really intriguing Nov. I hope you do a post on it.
      Eh I don’t care for Brand either, he’s just annoying. Unlike Noel who’s endearingly funny, I think Russell seems like an attention whore to me.

  7. How was A Cat in Paris? That looks intriguing just based on that screencap.

    I had a great weekend of movie watching for a change, a mix of old and new. I really need to do a wrapup post with some mini-reviews.

    1. A Cat in Paris is lovely, I love the animation and the voice cast is pretty good (Angelica Huston, Marcia Gay Harden). I might do a mini review of that one day. I look forward to your mini reviews too, Eric.

  8. I really need to see Mansfield Park, looks great! Such a shame Pacific Rim isn’t doing better at box office, I’m so pissed off those typical action films are doing so well yet when something different comes along it debuts on #3 :/

    1. Oh you should give Mansfield Park a shot. It’s a really bold interpretation (I mean there’s even brief nudity in it!) but I love it. Frances O’Connor as Fannie Price is brilliant.

      Yeah, I wish Pac Rim did better. Can’t believe people would rather see Grown Ups 2, ugh!

      1. At least Lone Ranger is flopping, but Depp is probably 5 or 10 more flops away from a very needed wake up call.

        People should be embarrassed for going to see Grown Ups 2. Seriously.

        1. Yep, now Lone Ranger sounds like it deserved to flop, but I hope Pac Rim would at least break even!

          Ahah yeah, I’d be embarrassed to go see that movie, but luckily I’m not remotely inclined to do so. It’s full of actors I despise!

  9. I will get around to seeing this one day (Despicable Me 2). Animations can be so great, and I love watching them, but to GET me to watch one… sheesh!

  10. Yep, we have very similar thoughts on this one. fun, but thin. I thought it was cool to see Kristen Wiig in a bigger vocal role in this one than she was in the first one. and the minions, of course, were fantastic! Nice review, Ruth.

    I didn’t finish A Cat in Paris but I loved what I saw. I need to see it and finish it. Thanks for the reminder

    1. I think if it werent for the minions i probably wouldnt enjoy it as much, T. Yeah Wiig is a great comedienne.

      Oh u should give A Cat in Paris another shot, it’s pretty cool.

  11. Ruth I was expecting to enjoy this a bit more than I did. That is not to say that the film was bad but just did not reach the level of coolness that the first film had. Maybe its because Gru was more fun as a bad guy.

    1. Hi Adam! Oh I think the first film is definitely better and true, Gru is more fun to watch as a villain but I thought El Macho was hilarious… and of course the minions are always a hoot!

      1. Ruth I am hearing that they were going to make a minions only film. Not sure how I feel about that idea but to be honest the minions on the island were my boy’s favorite part of the film.

        1. Yeah the Minions Movie is in the works but honestly I’m not sure if it’s going to work as well when the focus is entirely on them. I guess we’ll see if they could come up with a really good story to make it work somehow. Yeah, the minions on the island are a hoot indeed!

  12. Pingback: DVD Court: 'Despicable Me 2', 'Fast and Furious 6' | Listing the Reasons We Love the Movies

  13. Carcotas

    It’s not often that a hit animated film’s sequel surpasses the original film. Despicable Me 2 is one of those rare cases. From the moment it appears on the screen to the end of the film, Despicable Me 2 is a fast paced, fun film that never ceases to be entertaining.

    This film has you laughing quite often, contains humour that both kids and adults can appreciate, and had at least one moment that was worthy of clapping out loud to.

    The character development is to be praised, as is the warmth and soul that Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud put into this film.

    This film leaves you feeling joyful and satisfied and happy for the characters and the new direction their lives are taking.

    This film is not to be missed and I can’t recommend it enough.

    More information about the movie you can also find it here
    http://movieinfodb.com/en/movie/93456/Despicable+Me+2-2013

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