Illumination Studios’ Despicable Me was one of those movies which had the wacky humor from a Nickelodeon cartoon, smooth animation from Dreamworks animated and the heartfelt story from a Pixar classic. Despicable Me had an original story as well as characters which felt very fresh. All these, powered by some colorful animation helped garner its attention among kids and adults alike. I didn’t watch it at the theatre and my friends who’d seen were like it was a waste of time and money. But I watched it later on the small screen and to my surprise I enjoyed it more than I’d expected. And thus Illumination studios made a mark in the animation industry as well as in my head.
I never expected a sequel to Despicable Me but like any good franchise, people gotta milk the cow dry right? And so we are given an inevitable Despicable Me 2. Like its predecessor this one too is aimed at the kids demography. As I loved the first one I was relaxed and kinda over-confident that I’d like this one as well but 20 minutes into it, it struck me I wasn’t enjoying this one much like I’d done the first. The story wasn’t as touching as the first one, neither was the plot-progression, it kinda felt inconsistent. The problem here was that the story didn’t feel as fresh or novel as the first one. While the first concentrated more on Gru’s transformation from evil to caring parent and the three girls this one was was more focused on the run-of-the-mill/whodunnit story albeit with an espionage twist. I chuckled here and there throughout the first half and I laughed a bit more in the second half due to the minions. Ah Minions, those yellow critters always made me laugh…I lost count how many times I watched the Banana short and ROFLd. Here too its no different and more than Gru, Despicable Me 2 is more of a Minion movie and I felt bored whenever they weren’t on screen.
Gru, voiced by Steve Carell stood out from the crowd but being less evil made him a tad boring then again watching him as an overprotective father was good. Kristen Wiig plays his love interest and fellow agent as Lucy and there was some impeccable chemistry between them. I like Kristen Wiig and Lucy was no less entertaining as her real-life counterpart. The girls had very less screentime this time and Agnes’ was missed dearly. Her “Its so fluffy I am gonna die” line and ‘Unicorn Song’ was missed as well.
Smooth animation complements the ubersmooth models. Almost the whole movie is modeled, textured and colored that it screams ‘kid-friendly’. When it comes to 3D animated movies always made it look good and its the same here. But I bet it’ll be just as entertaining if watched in 2D. Pharrell Williams steps in once again as a composer for Despicable Me 2 and offers some good score as well as songs. Despicable Me’s title song was iterated and it was good. But the track Pharrell’s own ‘Happy’ along with the visuals was something that stuck in my head. That and some good tracks kept things moving
In the end Despicable Me 2 wanes from what all the original brought to us. It’ll be a great ride for the kids but promises just a few chuckles for adults.