Thursday, August 1, 2013

Despicable Me 2 review

The first movie was a bit of a surprise hit for me. It was funnier than I expected, and I enjoyed the story. As a result my expectations for the sequel were naturally higher than they were for the original, but in my experience animated movie sequels are sometimes better than the originals (Toy Story 2 and Madagascar 2 come to mind), so I allowed myself to be hopeful.

And you know what? I really enjoyed this one; probably a lot more than I did the original in fact. I found it much funnier, and some of the new characters are a lot of fun. I also think that in the original it took me some time to really warm to the characters - not surprising given the nature of the film - while their familiarity in this one meant I had more fun watching their antics right from the start.

The animation, acting, and music were all great. The whole "pointing out of the screen to remind you it's in 3D" gimmick was severely over-used - I lost count of the number of times they did it - but the short minion animation that accompanied the credits was actually some of the best use of 3D I've ever seen in a movie. It was like a bunch of animators said to themselves "Let's see what we can really do with this whole 3D malarkey when we're not too busy worrying about the rest of the film", and then went out and did just that.

I do have a little bit of criticism. The story just wasn't as strong this time around; more time and attention is spent on Gru's relationship with Lucy, pushing the whole "saving the world" plot into the backgound, but that relationship isn't as compelling as his relationship with the girls in the first film. I just feel that the romance angle in this one is more generic and less touching than his connection with the girls. Speaking of which, it seemed a little strange that the movie paid far more attention to Margo than her sisters; Edith especially was almost completely ignored, which I thought was, well, kind of unfair. Gru also had much more character growth and change in the first one.

Overall I'm going to give it a 9/10. It might be a little shallow compared to it's predecessor, but it is just a whole lot of fun.

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