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Gru, a former super-villain, has turned to the good side after adopting three orphan girls from the original “Despicable Me.” His former partner, Dr. Nefario, quit after getting tired of Gru’s new profession: producing flavors of jams and jellies. One day, however, Gru is caught and taken to a top secret organization that is responsible to put super-villains to justice. He is offered a job to help bring down a villain responsible for taking a secret serum that makes every living thing that drinks it turn into a ferocious, indestructible purple version of itself, and possibly using it for evil. Gru agrees to work with his partner, Agent Lucy Wilde, to search a shopping mall, where the suspect is hiding. Gru’s suspicion is on the keeper of the restaurant Salsa Salsa, a supposed super-villain known as “El Macho”.
Despicable Me 2 is just as enjoyable as the original film. In my opinion, it is more exciting and enjoyable than “Monsters University.” The filmmakers really take advantage of the 3D effects for the film. For example, in some shots, a missile flies straight at the screen, bubbles blow at the viewers, and in the end credits, Gru’s short, yellow goggled “minions” blew party horns at the camera. I noticed that the ending had black spaces at the top and the bottom, so when the party horns blew past the spaces, it looked very real.
Despicable Me 2 has numerous flaws, a few major, and many minor storyline flaws. At one point in the film, Agent Wilde, Gru’s partner, opened the door of a passenger plane and nobody got hurt or sucked out, and not a single one of the flight attendants said a word! If that happened in real life, you would have been arrested for endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers.
Another flaw is that “El Macho” was said to have died by riding a shark with rockets attached to a missile into a volcano, blowing it up. But, when El Macho sent Gru and Wilde on the same fate, the same volcano he supposedly exploded in was completely intact! Flaw #3: At a point in the film, the minions started getting kidnapped, one by one, until what used to be a population of hundreds of yellow minions diminished to 4 or 5, and Gru was completely oblivious to the fact that his companions were missing. Finally, the flaw that was most confusing was that Dr. Nefario left Gru for a new job in evil, but at the end, he went back to Gru. He changed from Evil to Good, Good to Evil, and back to Good from Evil once more! It’s almost like he completely forgets everything, and acts like he has Alzheimer Disease, which may very well be the case!
The over-franchised yellow goofball minions don’t add much to the storyline, other than giggles and comic relief. Mostly, they just sell tons of T-shirts and gifts at retail stores.
The worst flaw of the film is the lack of a good moral. I give Despicable Me 2 three starfish rating. This film is good for people of any age to enjoy, but I don’t think it has any chance at the Oscar season.
Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film/ entertainment critic & animator, artist, speaker, and entertainment personality. He started writing movie reviews at 8 using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, under the guidance of his mom Dr. Zhu Shen and his 3rd grade teacher Ms. Harris. Perry’s debut on the CBS Evening News in 2009 made him a national sensation. He has been featured extensively on local, national, and international media, including NPR, Fox, CNN, NBC, The Guardian, The China Press, and many more. He has interviewed prominent filmmakers at film festivals, red carpet premieres, and press junkets. He won a prestigious “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club in 2010 as its youngest member. Perry currently writes movie reviews for the Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews website with a combined readership of over 2 million worldwide. Perry and his family live in the community of Carmel Valley San Diego.
Dr. Zhu Shen’s love for the movies started when she was a young girl, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution where watching movies was the only entertainment available to the masses. Her journey to become a filmmaker took a convoluted path. She studied medicine at Peking Union Medical College before coming to the US and earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Colorado, and then an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School. She is a producer of the upcoming documentary feature “Average Joe on the Raw,” about journey into raw food and health. Dr. Shen is also an award-winning biotech executive, author, speaker, China business expert featured on national and trade media including CBS, Fox, Business Week, Pharmaceutical Executive, and more. She has worked at IBM, Bayer, Chiron, Immusol, and is the CEO of BioForesight, consulting on cross-Pacific life science business. *Photos of Perry Chen and Zhu Shen by Brian Bostrom.