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Contrasting Reviews – DESPICABLE ME 2 Benjamin Bratt

Posted on July 03 2013 by Hollywood Junket

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Contrasting Reviews – DESPICABLE ME 2 Benjamin Bratt

DESPICABLE ME 2
Animation, Comedy, Crime
Rated PG, 98 min.
Movie 2013, Universal Pictures
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand
Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Written by: Ken Daurio (screenplay), Cinco Paul (screenplay).
Opens in theaters Wednesday, July 3, 2013 in Real D, 3D

Movie review by: Heather McTear
Gru (Steve Carell) and his minions sweep this summer’s red carpet in Despicable Me 2, a 3-D sensory party, so full of sights, sounds and laughs a house party DJ couldn’t put together a better set. It’s stunning from start to finish.

Despicable Me 2’s plot is equally strong. Now that he’s done taking over the world one botched evil deed at a time, Gru takes on parenthood. It turns out Gru is a much better father than he was a villain.

Whether he’s throwing the best birthday on the block for his little princess, Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher), or warding off pesky boys from his oldest daughter, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), the single dad puts his three girls first, and although this storyline could have gone despicably wrong, it’s actually adorable to watch. Delightful, in fact.

UK funnymen Steve Coogan and Russell Brand help carry the comedy. Brand returns as Gru’s ever-faithful and mad-creator, Dr. Nefario. Coogan has a small role, but it’s his character’s name that says it all and gets the biggest laugh. You’ll have to see Despicable Me 2 to catch that one.

Kristen Wiig also returns, this time, as Lucy, the secret agent who steals Gru’s heart and somehow manages to grow on the audience as well by the end of the film. She stays just enough out of the way and in it to make a delightful sidekick.

Of course, it would be villainy to discuss Despicable Me 2 without mentioning those minions. Not since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have little characters come so close to taking over the entire show. Is it French or Portuguese or what they speak? Whatever it is, it’s pure adorable.

But if the minions stole the spotlight in the first one, then Benjamin Bratt as “El Macho,” the villain, completely steals the show this time around. Bratt not only takes over the screen with his sheer size, but his performance should go down in the animated bad guy hall of fame. He’s got the moves like Jagger in the body of Jabba the Hutt.

Who knew such a serious, painfully gorgeous, actor could play a character so funny and that out of shape? Well done, Benjamin Bratt.

What’s refreshing to see is that Despicable Me 2 resorts to classic comedy.

While it was amusing in the first one when the Bank of Evil turned Gru down for a loan to steal the moon, Despicable Me 2 is packed with the best physical comedy on Earth. The minions simply batter one another over the head and it gets huge laughs from the kids.
And somehow, there’s nothing as great as the sound of that kind of laughter.

Take a worthwhile trip to the movies this holiday weekend and see Despicable Me 2. It reminds us what family movies—what families—can be. Wacky, yes. Ex-criminals, maybe. But on the right track at last.

Movie review by: Michael Eisenberg
Gru (the great Steve Carell) is back with his three girls Margo, Edith and Agnes (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Kate Fisher), and he is enjoying retired life making jellies and jam along with Dr. Nefario (the always annoying Russell Brand). One day, Dr. Nefario tells Gru that he misses being evil and has been offered a position elsewhere , so he decides to leave Gru and his minions.
Immediately afterwards, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villian League, led by Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan, in a great voice-over) and agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig, just going through the motions) to help stop a mutating chemical that can transform anyone into indestructible monsters.

Silas and Lucy tell Gru that they found traces of this chemical at his local shopping mall, and one of the merchants is behind it, and it’s up to Gru to try and find out who has the chemical and stop them from using it as the world could be in trouble. They “plant” Gru at the mall and have him open a bakery store so he can find out which merchant has the chemical. Along the way, he meets a couple of nefarious merchants, Eduardo (Benjamin Bratt), and Floyd Eagle-san (Ken Jeong). Are they storing the chemicals to prepare to conquer the world? Wait and see!

Another subplot involves Gru’s girls wanting him to settle down and marry as they feel he is lonely. Gru has no time for love, nor women as they have scared him ever since he was a child. Wait and see though how Gru eventually does find love in an unexpected place.

This movie is obviously geared towards kids, and I’m sure they will enjoy it. The minions were quite cute and funny at times, and Carell’s Gru is fun to listen to as he always nails that accent, but still, I found this movie to be dull, flat, lacking any substance, and really boring. I enjoyed Despicable Me a lot, as I loved how Gru was the villain, then, with the love of the three little girls, became a good guy and hero in his girls’ eyes. Some scenes might be too scary for children, but, overall, the movie left me wanting more. On Mike’s scale of 1/2 star to 4-stars, I give this movie a 1 1/2 star review.

P.S. Al Pacino was originally cast as Eduardo, but left due to creative differences with the director. Benjamin Bratt came on board to replace Pacino. Talk about a letdown!!!!

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