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

MOVIES: 25 Days of Christmas Films

Fresh
James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life".

Count down to Christmas with these 25 festive holiday movies.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials, bowl games this weekend

Fresh
Elf

Here's a look at Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sports specials airing this weekend.

in Entertainment

Stars lose millions of followers in Instagram crackdown

kim-kardashian2

Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian are among the celebs who lost fake followers when the social media service purged fraudulent accounts.

in Music

Dennis DeYoung: Rock Hall hates ‘power rock’

Updated
dennisdeyong

The "Come Sail Away" hitmakers have been overlooked again, alongside peers like Journey and Foreigner.

in Music

Frank Sinatra app offers indepth look at singer’s life

franksinatra

The downloadable app comes as fans prepare to celebrate Ol' Blue Eyes' 100th birthday at the end of 2015.