Review: Despicable Me 2

Oh yeah, oh yeah, I surrender.

After hearing all that “minion” this and “minion” that over the past couple of weeks, I have opted to surrender myself to these li’l yellow critters’ charms.

Too many Happy Meals can turn you into one yourself

Though I haven’t stooped to the levels of manically collecting every free minion being given away with McDonald’s Happy Meals, I have relished playing the Despicable Me Minion Rush game on my iPad (best score, 254,972)

Where are the purple minions, though…and Meena’s nowhere to be found in the movie

Come to think of it, these aforementioned li’l yellow critters were also the main reason why I liked the predecessor.  Beneath their nearly incomprehensible gibberish, there is a manic appeal to their earnest yet clueless obedience.

Now, on to Despicable Me 2.  When we last left him, Gru (Steve Carrell) is relishing his life as a suburban single dad to three adorable little girls – including  precocious preteen Margot.  As a matter of fact, he has even got his minions – not to mention Doctor Nefarius, his ever-loyal mad scientist – to assist him in his burgeoning fruit-preserve business.

Then one day, Nefarius decides to turn in his resignation.

Opportunity knocks in the form of Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, all diitz) who shanghais him into the Anti-Villain League’s submarine hideout.  Under orders from the League’s head, Silas Ramsbottom, they are tasked to stake out a mall to intercept a mysterious mutagen fluid.


Meanwhile, Margot’s mad hormones lead her to Antonio, whose father owns a Mexican restaurant in said mall.  Said father also happens to be one of Gru’s old nemeses, El Macho (last seen hurled to a fiery volcano strapped to a great white shark and a shitload of rockets)

Eventually, a whole contingent of Gru’s minions turn up missing.  It turns out that they were kidnapped by Nefarius, who has turned up in the employ of – dan daan dararaaan – EL MACHO!!!  He has found a way of transforming the minions into feral, purple killing eating machines.

After the climactic showdown, where he gives El Macho the what-for, he then ties the knot with Wilde.  The End.

That’s the plot – or what seems to look like some semblance of one.  It comes off as a tad slight, barely held together by those minions’ irrepressible shenanigans.   Carrell is still in top form as Gru, though he tends to channel Adam Sandler’s Dracula in Hotel Transylvania when he tries to keep Margot in check.  Good job in attempting to show Gru enjoying the normal ups and downs of dating – at least the writers aren’t trying to talk down to the expected kiddie audiences.

As usual, Pharrell Williams’ contributions to the music only adds to the film’s cuddly charm.  A reprise of his Burt Bacharach-esque “Fun Fun Fun” from the first movie foreshadows new track “Happy” which is irresistibly frisky, if not LSS-worthy

On the other hand, it may help to have fleshed out Wilde’s  and El Macho’s characters up a bit.  Then again, they are not so much the focus of the film as those minions, who get to sing and dance (you should see what they do to All-4-One’s “I Swear” and The Village People’s “YMCA”) among other random funny stuff.

Heck, I swear that I even heard them speaking Tagalog!

Pulitikang masarap!!!

Not fair to the Minions…

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