Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Kid-Friendly Sequel


“Despicable Me 2” Best-Suited for Children

By Skip Sheffield

“Despicable Me 2” is a sequel strictly for the kiddies. The original “Despicable Me” was funny and clever, turning the tables on the traditional movie bad-guy role. The sequel is much tamer.
That former bad guy is Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell. How bad was Gru? He tried to steal the moon in the first movie, but in a manner of speaking he saw the light and became a good guy, adopting three orphaned girls.
All three of the original girls have returned to voice their parts of Margo (Miranda Cosgrave), the eldest; tomboy Edith (Dana Gaier) the middle child and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), the youngest. As the story opens we see Gru is drag in a futile attempt to play a fairy princess when the real one was a no-show.
Being a single dad is not nearly as interesting as being a villain, so although the same French directors (Pierre Coffin and Chris Reanaud) and writers (Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul) returned to work on the sequel, the idea is no longer as fresh or unusual.
According to my sources Al Pacino was originally cast to voice a new villain, Eduardo. Pacino dropped out over creative differences and Benjamin Bratt stepped into the dual role of Eduardo, owner of a Mexican restaurant and his alter ego El Macho, a Latino super-villain.
There are various subplots involving lovelorn Gru and his lady friend Lucy (Kristen Wiig) an obnoxious date with Shannon (Kristen Schaal) and Margo and her boyfriend Antonio (Moises Arias) who just so happens to be Eduardo’s son.
Also returning is Russell Brand as Gru best villain buddy, Dr. Nefario, but even he seems disillusioned with his new good-guy role making terrible-tasting jelly.
“I miss being evil,” he says wistfully.
Carrying the bulk of the comedy are Gru’s legions of cute yellow “minions,” who are there to serve Gru’s every command. There is a funny twist in which an evil plot is hatched to turn the giggling minions into snarling purple monsters, but it is not followed through.
Indeed the minions have become so important they will have their own movie in the next sequel, scheduled for release in December, 2014. Make sure you stick around for the final credits and you will see some amusing “auditions” for the next movie. These computer-animated movies take a lot of time to make.

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