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Laramie Movie Scope:
Despicable Me 2

Not so despicable this time

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 17, 2013 -- This sequel to “Despicable Me” is about the same quality as the first one, but it seems to click with a less diverse audience. I heard kids laughing at stuff that wasn't remotely funny. It seemed to me this film was aimed way below my age group (over 65).

I think this is a fine animated comedy for kids, and parents can sit through it without despair. It just doesn't quite fit the adult audience quite as well as the first one did. For one thing, the voices seem little more screechy and hysterical than they were in the first film. It would help if the minions could sing the words to the songs, too. Cute at first, that wordless singing noise gets more irritating the longer it goes on. It was a novelty in the first film, but it was probably a mistake to repeat it here. I thought the fart guns were a little but much, too.

In this sequel, the main character Gru, is a totally reformed villain, so much so he is recruited (using really stupid recruiting methods) by a secret police organization, the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to help them capture a super-villain. After giving the matter some thought, Gru decides to become an AVL operative, along with Lucy Wilde, an AVL agent. They set up in a donut shop in a mall where the mysterious villain is thought to hide his operation.

There are a lot of subplots with a romance between Gru and Lucy as well as between Gru's daughter, Margo and Antonio, son of a restaurant owner in the mall. It turns out the AVL is basically a pretty incompetent organization. They are sloppy, heavy-handed and they ignore Gru's investigation in favor of their own superficial analysis, putting the entire world at risk. This is sort of like police who get fixated on a suspect to the point where they ignore all others, including the person who actually did the crime. The AVL is bailed out at the last minute by an improbable alliance of characters.

The characters of Gru, Lucy, his daughters and Gru's old associate, Dr. Nefario, are pretty strong and they provide much of the impetus for this story. It is a pretty solid story, too, and believable in its own context. The animation is polished as well. This is a better-than-average animated comedy for its target audience -- children -- not so much for adults. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2013 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)