Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Despicable Me 2 Was Very Good For What it Was

Now, you may be wondering what that title means. What I mean to say is that Entertainment Weekly, Film School Rejects, and many others are looking at this movie all wrong. Now, you may be wondering what that explanation is. Well, you're rather curious today, aren't you? You see, both of those popular sources of reviews gave this movie less than a C+. And I don't like that. This article won't exactly be a review, but I will be grading the movie at the end. As you may know, I don't like to warn my readers about spoilers, so let's start the review!
Mind you, not every critic got this wrong. In fact, it has a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. But a lot of them did and a lot of the more popular ones did. There were two things that these critics didn't do right. First of all, it's a comedy. For children. Stop picking apart the changes in character between it and the first one. Most of the audience doesn't even remember the first one well enough to do that. My second critique critique may seem like a bit of a contradiction considering my first one. They're not taking the movie seriously. Sure, at first glance, it made you laugh, but it didn't make you think. But that's just because you didn't think. You didn't analyze its place in the series or how well it worked as both a standalone film and a sequel to the second-best children's comedy about a supervillain of 2010. Actually, that doesn't do it justice. It's the second-best children's comedy about a supervillain of ALL TIME. That's better. I decided to do this movie justice by doing both of these things.
For a children's comedy, Despicable? Me Too! is fantastic. It is definitely the second-best of the year and why does this series keep getting stuck in second place? Damn you, letter M! But yeah, it's hilarious. I'm not saying it's better than the first one, but it's definitely a close... second GODDAMMIT! When the jokes were adult, they were good and when they were childish, they were even better. In one scene, Gru has a device on his belt to help him find a certain chemical while he wanders through the store of a supposed supervillain. He therefore needs to thrust his pelvis at every surface in the store to see if the chemical is there. That is gold. If you didn't laugh at that, you will when you see it on the big screen. And by the way, see it in 3D. You'll be very annoyed if you don't. But yeah, this is definitely a very entertaining movie. But how well does it work?
As a standalone film, it's pretty good. There are a few callbacks to the original, but nothing that would be hard to understand if you hadn't seen it. Like I said before, it's also hilarious. There were only a few jokes in the entire movie that really didn't work. It also had a pretty good story, besides its Cars 2 premise. The only things that I didn't like were the twists. I saw them all coming from a mile away. I knew from the very beginning that Gru and Lucy were going to get married, I knew immediately when Nefario quit that he was going to end up working for the bad guy, and I knew immediately that El Macho was still alive and would be the antagonist. What I didn't suspect was a tease at next year's Minion movie during the end credits.
Now we've reached the real question: does it work as a sequel? Is it necessary? Did it further the story? Was it intended when the first movie was made? Let me answer those questions. I think the movie is necessary in the same sense that Incredibles 2 is necessary (2019, baby!). It's necessary because the first one ended in a way that they could have done anything they wanted. They could have left it as it is, they could have made a sequel, they could have even made a TV series. It's very hard to tell if they intended to make a sequel. In a lot of ways, it perfectly fits in to the story, but in a lot of other ways, it feels like they just did it because the studio demanded it. It certainly does further the story, Gru having grown into a loving father while still maintaining some of his villainous ways, the Minions having gone through a similar change, and yet the girls haven't changed a bit. They're three years older now, and yet the only one who seems to have changed is the oldest one, who has gone full teenager. Especially at their age, the kids should have changed dramatically over those three years, unless it hasn't been three years. A lot of people seem to be unaware of Gru's retirement.
Does the movie do anything better than the first one? Yes. Its satire. I swear to god, this thing parodies every spy movie as well as everyday suburban life and it does it terrifically. There are also, however, a few subplots that never really take off. For example, one of the minions falls in love with Lucy, the love interest of EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER. Then... they never speak of it again. What about the woman that's always trying to hook Gru up with younger women? That was hilarious! Was that supposed to be a one-time joke? Or a three-time joke? I can think of ways that that could have been part of the plot. But I also like how they prevented it from being part of the plot. Lucy was at a restaurant where Gru was on a "date" with your typical duck-billed anorexic. Rather than getting mad, Lucy listens in on the date using spy devices and finds that Gru was having a miserable time. The woman who hooked them up was  never mentioned again. There was also a setup where Lucy was going to Australia for an assignment even though Gru was confident that the case hadn't been cracked yet. In the end, she never goes. I swear to god, even though Silas Ramsbottom, her BOSS, says she's going there, she never goes. Gru even points out that Lucy should have been in Australia when she got kidnapped. Does anyone ever answer that complaint? NOPE. All in all, this is a very good family movie and I give it a B+.

Story is end.