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 Local

City Needs Extra $3.5 Million to Cover Healthcare Costs

Health

It appears health care costs for city of Springfield employees went over budget by more than three million dollars this fiscal year.

in Local

Lincoln Woman Gets Prison Time: Embezzles Two Million Dollars

money

A Lincoln woman will serve nearly 4 years in prison for embezzling two million dollars over 17 years.

in Local

Rauner Pushes “Right to Work” Zones

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says one of his priorities for his first year in office will be creating so-called “right to work zones.”

in Local

Lawmaker Introduces Measure to Cut GA, Officer Salaries

money

An Illinois lawmaker has introduced legislation that would cut the pay of elected officeholders by 10 percent.

in Local

Portions of MacArthur Blvd. Closed due to Sewer Cave In

road construction

Portions of southbound MacArthur Blvd. are down to one lane due to a sewer cave in.