Thanks to the fine folks at Buffalo.com, my 5 year old daughter and I saw Despicable Me 2 last night. It’s got a lot to live up to, as the first is one of our favorite movies as a family, and one of the most-quoted. I’m happy to report that, for the most part, Despicable Me 2 lives up to it’s predecessor.
It’s a bit slow to start, while we see what Gru is up to now that he’s no longer a supervillain. It’s broken up by some funny bits (including Agnes’s birthday party) and hey, MINIONS. We learn why Gru is single, and it becomes clear that the heart of the movie is about his loneliness. He has the girls, but there’s still something not there.
The other aspect of the movie, as you see from the trailers, is Gru working with the ‘Anti-Villain League’ to try and figure out who is behind some recent trouble. A secret lab developed a serum that turns normal creatures into crazy, murderous versions of themselves, and it was stolen (of course!). Gru and Agent Lucy Wilde are investigating the various suspects, our hero zeroes in on one he thinks is a long-missing, presumed dead villain named El Macho, doubly so when the potential villain’s son takes a shine to oldest daughter Margo. It’s a lot of the same over-protective father bits you’ve seen, except that when the father is a former supervillain, he’s got more options on how to deal with it (FREEZE RAY!).
What I love about these movies so far is the family aspect. It’s on display again here with Gru and the girls, as well as Dr. Nefario (can’t say much as I don’t want to spoil it). It may not be a typical family – I don’t know about you, but I don’t have hundreds of minions or an evil scientist grandpa – but they love each other, and it shows.
For the 5 year old’s perspective, my daughter was beside herself with joy. I could barely keep her from babbling the whole way through at all the stuff she liked. For me, I think Despicable Me is still the best, but this is a worthy sequel. Oh, and Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira did another bang-up job on the music. “Happy” is infectious. If you liked the first one, see this!