Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Cartoon comedy action espionage rom-com?
Debate rages over a movie that’s made almost a billion dollars (the first one did half a billion). It feels more like Despicable Me 1.5 or a direct to dvd sequel but is just better enough to survive as a stand-alone sequel. It does try to answer the question of how does life go on for the newly formed family (boringly, which is odd considering the first movie). It answers what Gru does when he’s not doing bad (jams and jelly). It gives more minion action but maybe not enough.
But I’ll tell you the reason why it’s made a billion dollars (almost). The success of this movie is directly a result of Kristen Wiig’s Lucy Wilde. We’ve paid a billion dollars (almost) for no other reason than to see those 3 little orphan girls get a mom. We wanted to see them find a safe and happy home with Gru and the Minions so badly in the first movie that we would have sacrificed anything plot-wise (even the moon, even Gru’s dreams) to get it. And we were happy, it was enough, he wasn’t perfect but he cared so much that we were happy because they were happy. Then they go and reveal that it is enough but that one little girl doesn’t feel like she should speak because she only has a dad. We find out that she pretends to have a mom. We realize the oldest is starting puberty. We start to realize that minions aren’t enough, no matter how many you have. Good for Gru, finding love, better yet a billion dollars (almost) will buy you Agnes standing up and reciting a short tribute to mothers and not having to pretend anymore.
They basically use Bond tropes digested through family friendly television mechanisms to shoehorn a plot into the created universe in order to make a space for Lucy to fill.
Who cares though?
We bought Agnes, Margo and Edith a mom and it was worth every penny…
p.s. Part of me feels like they betrayed single fathers in the same way that Kung Fu Panda 2 betrayed adoptive parents at the very end.
p.p.s. They took the adorable, happy, safe, fun, kid favorite Minions and turned them into something different and scary and unsafe? WTF is wrong with these people? “Oh Becky, so you want a puppy? Let’s go watch Cujo!”