News

REVIEW: Just as fun, but half as ‘Despicable’

REVIEW: Just as fun, but half as ‘Despicable’

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Crime | Run Time: 98 min | Rated: PG
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud | Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong

By: George Wolf

Three years ago Despicable Me scored at the box office, thanks mainly to a funny bunch of yellow creatures who speak nothing but gibberish.

These “minions” made the film, which was fairly average otherwise, easy to like. It should come as no surprise, then, that Despicable Me 2 trots them out early and often.

At the end of part one, evil genius Gru (Steve Carell) wasn’t despicable any longer, his heart inevitably melted by three incredibly cute kids (yes I realize they’re animated but they remind me of my nieces so whatsittoya?)

This time out, Gru is recruited by special agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) to help the good guys, in hopes that his bad guy instincts will help ferret out a villain in hiding.

Everybody – writers, directors, most of the cast – returns from the original, but an important piece is missing. Being despicable is what made Gru a character, and taking that trait away also discards much of what makes him interesting. The love story with Lucy isn’t developed enough to fill the gap, so it’s up to the little Twinkie-looking things!

For the most part, they come through. Much like the Madagascar series continues to be hilariously saved by the supporting lemur and penguin characters, Gru’s minions are able to provide the laughs when things start to drag. Without them, kids would be squirming and parents might be thinking of an early exit.

The sum of unequal parts, DM2 is perfectly pleasant, if unexceptional, family fare.

Verdict 3 Stars

Read more reviews by George Wolf.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson gets brainy in ‘Lucy’

Lucy

A ridiculous premise doesn't have to sink a film, and Luc Besson's "Lucy" actually gets off to a solid start.

in Music

Bon Jovi honored for charity work

bonjovi

The rocker will be recognized for his philanthropy.

in Entertainment

‘The Book of Life’ takes No. 1 spot on bestsellers list

bookoflife

The final novel of the time-traveling trilogy written by Deborah Harkness, shot straight to the top of the bestsellers list.

in Music

Steven Tyler launches eyeglasses collection

steventyler

The Aerosmith rocker is designing his own line of glasses.

in Music

Former KISS star gets songwriting help from fiancée

ace

Ace Frehley is hoping to give his fiancée a big musical boost after collaborating with her on his new album "Space Invader."