It's so good that I paid to see it twice! There, that's the review done.
Despicable Me 2 is great for so many reasons. I reckon pretty much anyone aged from 3 to 103 would enjoy both movies' warm heartedness and most will love the minions' riot of anarchic slapstick. And if they don't, I guess they aren't our kind of people anyway, right?
Here are a few good reasons for loving "Despicable Me 2" (and actually most of these reasons apply to the original "Despicable Me"):
- The minions, their antics and their strange delighted helium-induced jabberings are really the heart of the movie. Their slapstick is pretty old school and the fart jokes just at that precise point where they don't get too much. Best of all, the minions are mostly sweet and innocent, and the represent so much the joy and exuberance of living in the moment that it's impossible for me to watch this film and not be happy. I'm pretty sure that they will get their own movie at some point. It remains to be seen if they can carry a whole story on their own -- certainly their subplot in "Despicable Me 2" is the weakest part of the film -- but whatever happens, it's sure to be 99% hilarious.
- Even the jokes away from the minions are excellent. The best one probably involves a sushi restaurant. Not to mention the nacho hat: I'm pretty sure that they are real and someone needs to get me one.
- It's a sweet good-natured tale about a loveable ex-villain who just wants to look after his girls and launch an exciting range of jellies and jams. It's great to see a family movie that is fun in so many respects have such a warm-hearted and uncynical look at the family unit. Of course Gru is a single dad and so there's also an important message sent out about single parents, he's doing an ace job of raising his children. You could argue that it's all a rose-tinted invention but I don't care, it's a U certificate family film after all.
- The references to other movies, works of art, and pop music. It's incredible. I counted references to Alien, Desperado, World War Z, and many others. There are the minions' takes on pop songs, which I will not reveal because for one of them, realising what the song actually is makes for one of the film's funniest moments. I also realised when preparing this post that the still from the film that I chose as the hero image (fair use yada yada yada) is an homage to that famous photo of workers sitting on the iron girders of some New York skyscraper that is under construction. You know the one. I am sure are loads more references that you will need the Blu-ray to sit down with in order to work them all out.
- These movies are probably the best advert for 3D - but only the end sections with the minions though. I didn't actually see it in 3D (even though my main reason for wanting to see it a second time was to see it in 3D) but it is fairly obvious where the magic is happening. If you get the chance to see it in 3D (and you have money to burn) then you'll probably get more out of it for this one.
And finally... "Bottom!"