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

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

Photo: YouTube

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 Local

Springfield Micro-Lending Fund Gives $120K in 1st 2 months

City of Springfield

The city of Springfield’s new micro-lending program has given out a total of $120,000 in loans to small business owners…

in Local

U of I Business Incubator has NSF Grants for Female and Minority Entrepreneurs

u of i research park

The people trying to turn ideas into commerce at the University of Illinois have a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in a program called AWARE.

in Local

SAA Hopes to Restore Lincoln-Era Piano with Crowdfunding Help

lincoln piano

A crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise the final $7,500 needed to bring a possibly 180-year piano back to playable condition.

in Local

Foul Play Not Suspected in Death of Southern Illinois Woman

jeannie schuur

Authorities in southern Illinois say foul play is not suspected in the death of a 22-year-old Murphysboro woman whose body…

in Local

Prosecutors: Man Eyed Targets After Brother Shot

corey morgan

Investigators say a Chicago man suspected in the fatal shooting of a 9-year-old boy went looking for targets after his brother was killed during a months-long gang feud.