On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Despicable Me 2

2013/ USA

Director(s): Pierre CoffinChris Renaud

Starring: Steve CarellKristen WiigBenjamin BrattMiranda CosgroveRussell BrandKen JeongSteve CooganElsie Kate FisherDana Gaier

There was a marker put on the significance on this film when we announced its release to our team of writers. The first words anyone said were “HOLY SHIT THERE’S A NEW DESPICABLE ME!?” now you may expect that from a poorly disciplined twelve year old hopped up on e-numbers but this isn’t often the reaction that an adult has when hearing that a sequel to a much loved animated movie is coming out. It’s safe to say that ‘Despicable Me’ really was that good. Introducing us to the lovable Gru and his team of hilarious minions the film has gone on to be compared with the likes of ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Monsters Inc.‘ if this year’s poorly received ‘The Croods’ was an example of how not to make an animated movie then ‘Despicable Me’ is really the point in the case for an analysis of the genre and the sequel builds upon the good work previously laid down

Despicable Me 2 picks up almost straight after the first film. Gru (Carell) is now a stay at home Dad having renounced his evil genious days and spends his time doting on this three adopted daughters Margo (Cosgrove), Agnes (Fisher) and Edith (Gaier) whilst developing a new line of jams and jellies for income. His world is turned upside down first by the resignation of his trusted evil scientist Dr. Nefario (Brand) and then when Gru is abducted by the enigmatic Lucy (Wiig). Lucy it transpires works for the Anti- Villain League which is headed by Silas Ramsbottom (voiced stoically by Steve Coogan) who offers Gru the chance to return to espionage but this time as a force for good. The AVL is tracking an anonymous villain who has stolen a formula that makes anything it touches evil and they ask Gru to use his villain insight to help them track the evil-doer. All the while the minions are being abducted and Gru and Lucy must team together to work out who is behind all of the evil that threatens the world… and there may be romance in the air…

This is actually an excellent sequel… and you can’t often say that with kid’s films… if you’ve seen The Lion King 2 you’ll know what I mean. The thing is with Despicable Me it is actually set in a rather rich narrative world. The possibilities to create evil characters knows no- bounds, the villain of the piece El Macho (Bratt) is a ridiculous homage to masked Mexican wrestlers who likes to ride sharks into volcanoes for fun… see what I mean?

Steve Carell brings great comedy as Gru, he actually has a funny voice which you can’t say about a lot of A- list actors who do voice overs. Ben Stiller didn’t manage to make me laugh simply by speaking in Madagascar. And the additions of Kristen Wiig, Ken Jeong and Steve Coogan go onto prove that there is a wider appeal for kid’s film these days and that adults are targeted by them as well. I mean Alan Partridge and The 40- Year- Old Virgin in a children’s film… that’s a bit weird by any standard.

The Minions are also what makes Despicable Me so distinctive, there are literally hundreds of them and each one is its own individual character. Strangely I noticed that they like to cross- dress which made me laugh but may not make a five year old laugh. Where in the first film they provided the film its iconography this time The Minions are heavily involved in the plot and get even more time to shine on screen.

I really do love the world of Despicable Me and it is coming in strong against Monster’s University as the best kids film of 2013. Whether it will be able to rake in more box office takings remains to be seen but we can be sure that Part 3 will not be long in the making…


-Josh Senior


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