Despicable Me 2 Review

Despicable Me 2 is the latest release from Illumination Entertainment and has really stepped up as a major contender in a market dominated by Disney and Pixar. The animation is truly creative and perhaps the best use of 3D I've seen to date. Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are as funny in live action as they are in the animated form.

It may sound like I'm being too nice to a children's film but this feels as though it's been made as much for the kids as for us dim witted adults. El Macho is one of the greatest and most ludicrous characters ever to grace the animated screen and Benjamin Bratt's voice work is hilarious. Throw in Russell Brand and Ken Jeong from The Hangover and the TV show Community (if you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favour and catch up) the laughs keep coming. The inventions are as good, if not better than they are in the first and the inner child in all of us will marvel at the lengths the directors, Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud, have gone to fill our adventurous hearts in a way only animated films are able to. 

Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul have teamed up again to write the script for this film and their ability to write dialogue that is funny, heart felt and believable in a most unbelievable world is flawless and very enjoyable. From the absurdly accented Gru to the ditsy Lucy, to the over-the-top El Macho, these writers have created characters that are funny, menacing and have us rooting for them all the while. What is truly remarkable is their skillful understanding of children and what makes them funny and cute and everything we love and nothing we don’t. 

It's great to see Illumination Entertainment create such a great film and challenge the all-powerful Pixar. It is after all competition that drives progress and creativity and exactly that which drove Pixar to form in the first place. What a lot of people may not know, is that Disney had the option to buy Pixar before Toy Story was made but the CEO at the time was, lets say slightly misguided, when thinking that this form of animation was a fad. This reluctance led to the separation of the wonderful partnership of Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who brought us The Lion King, Aladdin and The Beauty and the beast, just to name a few. Katzenberg saw this new form for what is was, the future. Disney was on the brink of bankruptcy when Einsner “acquired” Pixar after seeing Toy Story and haven’t looked back since. Forgive me for talking about Pixar when this film is not a Pixar film but I feel it is important to mention those who paved the way. Despicable Me 2 is a fine example of what is achievable through 3D animation and the future is exciting for Illumination Entertainment. I’m sure Universal are licking their lips at the possible box-office smash hits this creative team will come up with in the future, I know I am.

- Gene


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