With over 5 humorous trailers and the huge minion balloon (approximately 10 metres high) in front of the Grand Cathay Cineplex, anticipation for Despicable Me 2 led to expectations, which inevitably brought us to disappointment.

In 2010, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud brought out a Golden Globe-nominated animation, Despicable Me,which grossed fourth place in 2010’s highest grossing animated films, behind Tangled, Toy Story 3, and Shrek Forever After.

But even with the same directorial and creative team at the helm, like most other movie sequels, Despicable Me 2 didn’t quite live up to either its predecessor or the marketing hype surrounding it.

This movie sees reformed baddie and new family man Gru (Steve Carell) being tasked by the Anti-Villain League to take down a mysterious new evil mastermind bent on destroying the world with his new sidekick, Lucy Wilde (Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig).

Although there’s now a romantic subplot between Gru and Lucy, and all the trimmings of being a protective 8 Simple Rules-type father, the plot about recruiting a thief to catch a thief is nothing new, we’ve seen it in which movies as recently as Fast & Furious 6. In fact, it is pretty easy to predict how the movie ends, even if you don’t read the synopsis on Wikipedia. Seeing that this film is mainly meant for kids, it’s understandable why a compelling script and complicated plot aren’t necessary, but  those weren’t the only things missing.

Writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio managed to keep some witty jokes coming (“Poulet Tikka Masala!!” aka Chicken Tikka Masala) but made the mistake of sending the minion antics into overkill territory. As much as many people adore them, it gets a little irritating when every few scenes includes one of those gibberish-spouting characters doing something extremely stupid and winding up in dire consequences. After all, there’s only so much cuteness you can take before it starts becoming tiresome right?

Take for example, prior to the scene in which a minion accidentally fell into a huge tank of jam that Gru has recently been trying to perfect for his jam and jellies business, a funny car scene where two minions chased Lucy after she Tasered Gru and kidnapped him had already taken place. Thus, this just makes it feel that the entire movie wasn’t really paced well enough to give viewers a chance to “breathe” in between scenes. The same series of events can be seen throughout the movie. Thus, it felt as if the writers were desperate to repeat all of these funny moments just to keep the audience’s attention.

In a way, it felt as if Paul and Dario were exploiting these characters a little too much that they lost their cute appeal.

Another huge downfall was the abrupt ending of the movie, with the minions singing and making fools out of themselves. Adding to this, a lot of loose ends weren’t tied up. Like why was the villain trying to blow up a volcano? What happened to Floyd (the Chinese hair stylist suspected of being the evil villain, played by Ken Jeong) after he was wrongly accused?

Once more, it felt as if Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures were really trying to milk the minions for all their worth to rake in more money. However, the writers should have just waited to utilize the minions even more when their own spin off movie comes out aptly titled Minions.

It also didn’t help that the cinema’s air conditioning appeared to have broken down and quite a few people were trying to cool off by fanning themselves with paper. Ultimately, this made some people really irritable, altering the atmosphere in the cinema.

However, as much as there were some pitfalls, there were also sequences that appeal. Such times include a scene in the trailer where Gru tucks in his 3 adopted daughters into bed and gets Agnes’s innocent musings about his bald head (“Goodnight Agnes… never get older”) and when Agnes was finally able to recite a sweet poem about her new mom with emotions. Sadly, though, those moments didn’t quite manage to salvage the 98-minute film.

All in, kids might have a field day watching this film because of all the mindless humour and cute-as-buttons minions, but adults (or even teenagers) probably won’t find it as endearing as the previous one.
Rating: 2.5/5

Release Date: July 3, 2013

Runtime: 1 hr 38 mins

Language: English

Censorship rating: G

Genre: Comedy/Family/Animation

Director: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Main voiceovers: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove