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.

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

chappelle

Dave Chappelle, Marlee Matlin, and Scott Caan are among the celebs celebrating this weekend.

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top alt tracks

tompetty

LISTEN: This week's top alternative tracks, according to the latest Billboard charts.

in Music

Paul McCartney tops ‘richest bassist’ list

mccartney 11.42.08 AM

The Beatles legend is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

in Music

Man arrested on drug, burglary charges claims to be Scott Weiland

weiland

A man who falsely claimed to be the STP frontman has been behind bars since last month

in Entertainment

Ashton Kutcher, Mariska Hargitay dominate TV paychecks

mariska

The annual Who Earns What countdown lists the paydays of your favorite television stars.