Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Despicable Me 2

In Summer 2013, get ready for more minion madness in Despicable Me 2. Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy animated adventure featuring the return of Gru (Steve Carell), the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions...and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.

In this sequel, Gru even snags himself a girlfriend and manages to save the world all at the same time.

Thoughts and Spoilers ahead (you have been warned!)

In this sequel, Gru is living the normal (as can be) life trying to be a dad to his three girls Margo, Edith and Agnes. And his mission (that he is somewhat coerced into) is to save the world from an unknown villain who has literally stolen a secret laboratory using a giant magnet! We never get to see the villain's face, so even the Anti-Villain League (AVL) has no idea who it could be - which is why they attempt to recruit Gru for his expertise (being an ex-villain and all). We learn that the secret laboratory was experimenting with a mutagen called PX-41, which turns normal beings (animals or otherwise into indestructible mindless monsters.

The way in which Gru was 'convinced' to help was not very effective (but definitely worth a good laugh... or two). It is also in this way that we are introduced to Lucy a rookie at Anti-Villain League (AVL). She is quirky, chatty and simply the opposite of a grant play-safe Gru. Gru, wanting to make a 'clean' living has decided to start a jams and jelly company, selling the new creations so he rejects the offer. 

However, unfortunately for Gru, his jelly prototype doesn't taste all that good. To add to the blow to his 'failure', his good friend and the genius behind his gadgets (and the jelly prototype), Dr. Nefario, has informs Gru that he is leaving for greener pastures (he misses the good old villain days and wants to use his skills and talent doing vallainy things again). Needless to say, Gru is taken aback and slightly disappointed. But he takes it in his stride and lets Dr. Nefario go in what would be a pretty funny scene involving fart guns and a 'slow' departure. 

After  Dr. Nefario's departure Gru temporarily loses his bearings in life, wanting to step up to be a dad that the girls can be proud of (what could be greater than saving the work?) Gru decides to take up the offer from the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to uncover who the villain is. Soon Gru finds himself paired with Lucy on a stakeout at the Paradise Shopping Mall, undercover as bakers with a bakery as their headquarters.

Once settled in, they start to survey the suspects. Gru suspects Eduardo to be the legendary super-villain, "El Macho" (who is supposedly dead, but the body was never found). Hence, Gru and Lucy break into Eduardo's restaurant at night hoping to find some clues. Although they found nothing incriminating, they do find Eduardo's secret sauce (which they pinch a little to munch and almost got caught by Eduardo) and they encountered the world's first guard... chicken - a feisty little thing which almost behaves like a dog (just in a chicken way). Their investigations lead them to another suspect, Floyd Eagle-san (owner of a wig shop), who is deemed to be the culprit by the Anti-Villain League (AVL) despite Gru's insistence that it is Eduardo.

The Anti-Villain League (AVL) think that Gru is being bais as Margo has develop a crush on  Eduardo's son, Antonio (who's pretty much the resident playboy who breaks Margo heart a little - something that Gru was trying to avoid and totally against). So they arrest Floyd Eagle-san instead when traces of the PX-41 are found in his shop, gauntly dismiss Gru for his services and send Lucy to Australia for another assignment. Meanwhile, while all this is happening the minions (yes, finally on to them) are getting kidnapped one by one in a sequence of 'mysterious' events: abducted alien style, vacuumed into an ice-cream truck and literally snatched...

When Gru learns that Lucy is to be sent to Australia, he is heartbroken (he just come to the conclusion that he loves her and was about to muster up the courage to ask her out. Dejected, Gru and his three girls take up Eduardo's invitation to a party he is holding while Lucy boards her plan.

It turns out that Gru was right all along, Eduardo is the super-villain "El-Macho" who faked his death. Gru is surprised to learn that Dr. Nefario is working for "El-Macho"and has even used the minions to test the PX-41, turning them into mindless monsters of purple fuzz to do the bidding of El-Macho to conquer the world!

El-Macho explains that he admired Gru's past works and even invites Gru to join in his quest to conquer the world, which Gru tries to act all cool (while making his escape) and avoids committing an answer. He leaves as quickly as his can with his three girls and make their way home, much to El-Macho's ire. He does get his revenge on Gru when Lucy, after having realized that she has affections for Gru and seeing everyone as him, (jumps off the plane and) makes her way to find him at Eduardo's party. Her identity is exposed and she becomes a victim, strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket heading straight for a volcano.

Fortunately,  Dr. Nefario cannot tolerate anyone messing with his 'family' and gives Gru due warning of Lucy's plight and El-Macho's plan to send the monsterised version of the minions in rockets throughout the world in his quest to conquer the world (basically submit to him or face destruction). In order to rescue Lucy, Gru pretends to be captured by the monster minions (actually normal yellow minions painted purple). The sequence is hilarious! His 'act' soon gets seen through and just as they are about to be descended upon by the purple monster minions, Dr. Nefario and Gru's three girls arrive to save the day with the antidote (the Dr. Nefario formulated) in the form of the horrible tasting jelly as the medium (finally put to good use! ha). Upon contact with the antidote jelly, the purple fuzzy mess of the minion monsters revert back to their good old yellow selves.

In no time, all the minions are reverted back to their original state. Frustrated, El Macho consumes the PX-41 himself, and becomes a gigantic purple mess of  fuzz (but not mindless and clearly aware of what he is doing/wants to do). But his impressive transformation is thwarted by the infamous fart gun. While El Machois is down for the count, Lucy is still stuck to the rocket (with a shark no less) and heading to a volcano to meet her demise (thanks to the guard chicken). Gru gallaintly gets on the rocket when it launches and tries to free Lucy from her entrapment. They barely make it, but they survive (and even confess to each other their feelings).

After 147 dates later, Gru and Lucy get married, with the the minions presenting a rendition of "Y.M.C.A" and "I Swear" (sung in minion-speak as "Underwear") while the whole family dances (and the movie audience laughs). Finally Gru gets the girl and his daughters get that mother figure.

Overall, a movie of simple fun, funny and entertainment! Suitable for kids and kids at heart. Just remember not to go in with super high expectations, it is a simple storyline (but a fun one) and pretty predictable (but what isn't these days?).


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