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DESPICABLE ME 2 3D

SYNOPSIS:
Gru (voice of Steve Carell) is recruited by agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) on behalf of Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) of the Anti-Villain League to help track down a powerful super criminal who has developed a dangerous new serum that turns people (and Minions) into evil monsters.

Review by Louise Keller:
While the original 2010 film cleverly made its evil protagonist into a hero, this irresistible sequel capitalises on his new status by using his skills as an ex-villain to save the world. Mixing up its colourful characters into an inspired cocktail shaker, the film creates a spanking new premise in which evil allows goodness to soar. There's an unlikely romance too, and the scene-stealing yellow Minions who jabber non-stop in gibberish will have you in stitches. It all starts with an ultra smart screenplay that first and foremost establishes character, throws in a simple plot that has scale and then has great fun with the premise, flinging equal serves of humour and heart. Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig head a top, all-star voice cast.

After a brief opening sequence set in the Arctic Circle in which a top secret research centre is sucked up by a giant magnet, the reality of the film's protagonist Gru (Carell) is established. Yes, he might have once been that audacious villain who stole the moon (and put it back, he quickly reminds us); these days Gru runs a jam and jelly factory and is the loving carer of three little girls. The scene when Gru is recruited by Anti-Villain League Chief Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) to go undercover to expose the purple monster-maker serum that threatens the world, is hilarious. Especially when the minions repeat the second part of his name in that knowing toilet-humour wink, wink manner, bringing out the child in all of us.

There are loads of wonderful little touches - like the Bake My Day cake shop that Gru runs with Agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig) as his lipstick-taser toting partner. There's a crazy chicken guard-dog that watches over the Salsa & Salsa restaurant and whose hulking owner is a suspect, as is the moustachioed owner of the Eagle Hair Club. As for the scene in which Gru wears a black wig whilst on the Date From Hell with a skinny young thing with pouting red lips.... Let me simply say, this is one date you will not forget.

The film is a happy mix of ideas and action fleshed out by colour and humour. It's lovable but not too cute with its offbeat ideas, while the Minions' musical rendition of YMCA (in gibberish) is simply too funny.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Although it's slightly disconcerting that the letters GRU are my late father's initials, Despicable Me 2 is so entertaining and so packed with amusing ideas, lovable, entertaining characters and quite some whimsy, that I could overcome that inner hurdle and have a thoroughly good 98 minutes. In this world, Gru is voiced by Steve Carell, with a thick East European accent (which my father never had, despite being East European). But we know this from the original (2010) movie, in which Gru was planning a major heist from his underground bunker.

Now a caring father, Gru is more or less a heroic character, recruited to be a spy for the Anti-Villain League, headed by the Pommie Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), who he manages to call Sheepsbum and who has sent Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to recruit our unsuspecting bumbler.

The story is a cover for the many opportunities to have fun, often with the cutely offbeat Minions in yellow, whose language is a form of unintelligible but amusing Munchkin-speak. The adventure itself - chasing the villain - is full of misadventure and colourful chases, novelty numbers, cute asides and a whirlwind vocal performance by Wiig, a contempo Agent 99 figure to Gru's Agent Smart-alike.

The kiddies at my preview squealed with delight, but the adults weren't bored either, with hoots and laughs all the way. The screenplay is pitch perfect and the animation seamless, dynamic and utterly convincing. To top it off at the end, there is a side splitting rendition of YMCA, although it's only recognisable by the tune; the Minions don't do lyrics.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DESPICABLE ME 2 3D (PG)
(US, 2013)

VOICES: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove, Moises Arias, Benjamin Bratt, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, Elsie Fisher,

PRODUCER: Janet Healy, Christopher Melandandri

DIRECTOR: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

SCRIPT: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul

EDITOR: Gregory Perler

MUSIC: Heitor Pereira, Pharell Williams

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Yarrow Cheney

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 20, 2013







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