Oscar®Oscar® Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Original song — “Happy”
Movie Review

Despicable Me 2

MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor and mild action.

Reviewed by: Kirsten Palmer
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Teens Family
Genre:
Animation Kids Family Comedy Sequel 3D
Length:
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
July 3, 2013 (wide—3,900+ theaters)
DVD: December 10, 2013
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

single father

father daughter relationship

Featuring: Ken JeongFloyd (voice)
Steve CarellGru (voice)
Kristen WiigLucy Wilde (voice)
Miranda Cosgrove … Margo (voice)
Moises Arias … Antonio (voice)
Benjamin Bratt … Eduardo (voice)
Steve CooganSilas (voice)
Russell BrandDr. Nefario (voice)
Elsie Fisher … Agnes (voice)
Dana Gaier … Edith (voice)
April Winchell
Bailey Gambertoglio … Little Girl 2 (voice)
Jan Rabson
Andre Robinson … Looping (voice)
Georgia Cook … Birthday Party Girl (voice)
Óscar de Brito … Various (voice)
Director: Pierre Coffin
Chris Renaud
Producer: Illumination Entertainment
Janet Healy … producer
Christopher Meledandri … producer
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“When the world needed a hero, they called a villain.”

The yellow guys are back! This despicable sequel starts off with a poker game in Antarctica outside a secret lab where top secret experimental concoctions are being made, when a flying magnetic vehicle appears and steals the entire lab. To locate this missing lab, and, more importantly the secret formula PX41, the AVL (Anti-Villain League) decides to recruit the reformed villain Gru (Steve Carell) to track down the thief. At first, he turns them down, but changes his mind after his assistant Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) leaves him to work for another villain. This excites his three adopted daughters when he tells them he will be helping to save the world.

Working with his new partner, AVL Agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig), Gru runs a cupcake shop in the mall to keep an eye on the suspects the AVL has put together. Gru’s instincts tell him that Eduardo, the owner of the Mexican restaurant, is their guy. When Eduardo’s son Antonio takes an interest in Margo, Gru becomes adamant that this is their guy, despite the evidence pointing to someone else having the formula.

All the while during the investigation, minions are slowly disappearing, and Gru is suffering his neighbor’s matchmaking schemes. Whoever has the formula is using it to transform our cute little yellow minions into indestructible, purple minions who can, and will, eat anything. When Gru finally comes face to face with the villain responsible for all the mayhem, he receives an offer to join up and conquer the world. Has Gru really changed for the better? Will he save the world or conquer the world?

Possible objectionable material

There is no foul language uttered in this film, no saying the Lord’s name in vain, but there is one instance of a “what the… ” that isn’t finished. There is one use of the word “butt,” and that is probably the worst word heard in the movie. There is some potty humor, including the return of the fart gun and a reference to someone pooping.

Visually, there are a few instances that I feel should be mentioned. During that opening scene where the lab is being stolen, we see a scene of a port-a-potty left behind, the door falls off, and we see the inhabitant of the port-a-potty with a newspaper and his drawers around his ankles. When the hired fairy princess cancels on the birthday party, Gru takes her place and dresses as the fairy princess himself. When he lands, he falls, and you can see up his skirt, revealing the pantaloons he’s wearing underneath the dress.

While trying to recruit Gru into the AVL, a video is shown of formula PX41 being injected into a bunny’s behind, followed immediately by the enlarged, purple monster bunny attacking the one who injected him. After opening the cupcake shop, Eduardo comes to introduce himself to Gru and Lucy and orders a hundred cupcakes with the Mexican flag. To help them know what the Mexican flag looks like, he rips open his shirt and shows his hairy chest with a Mexican flag tattoo. Later, while investigating the owner of the hair restoration shop, Gru is wearing a belt with a device that detects the missing formula and sounds the alarm when located. Gru walks around the shop, thrusting his belted area in various positions in suggestive ways to locate the missing formula.

When Margo and her sisters try to set Gru up with an on-line dating service, they are looking at photos to figure out which one, and we see Gru in swimming briefs. At one point, when the location of the kidnapped minions is revealed, you see a minion rip off his towel to run into the beach… with a yellow butt showing. There is also an incident when one of the minions is dressed like a girl, but gets the skirt of the dress caught in the escalator, ripping it off and revealing purple panties. He then covers his chest and runs to hide in a potted plant. During a Cinco de Mayo celebration, we see Antonio doing some inappropriate dance moves.

As for violence, there’s a fair bit of ax swinging, head-bonking, electric tasers that both shock the victim and cause them to do a dance. The minions frequently wrestle with each other, smack each other and the like, but there’s never any blood.

Positive material

One positive aspect is when Dr. Nefario ultimately decides that his family is more important than helping the villain conquer the world, and comes back to help Gru and the girls.

Fatherhood has been good to Gru. He has truly changed his ways. He’s gone from a villain, seeking to completely conquer the world to wanting to make it a safe place for his three girls. This is an example of how anyone can be changed. Ephesians 4:22-24 says “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” It doesn’t matter who you were, what you have done, you can be forgiven and be made a new creation in Christ.

My experience with this movie: I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get this review out tonight, as the power at the theater went out as I was watching. I just sat there in the dark, listening to the rain pouring down and the thunder rolling on.

That being said, I did enjoy the movie and had a good time. Keep in mind, this movie is targeted at kids, so it may be loud. I did see it in 3D, so let me save you a few bucks. Don’t bother… if you do decide to see it, there’s nothing in the movie itself that lends well to 3D. Once the credits are rolling, there’s some fun bits… bubbles and butterflies that really make you think they’re really in the theater, but that’s about it.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—In my experience, it is rare to see a movie and have the entire audience break out into applause at the end of the film. That is what happened at the packed showing of “Despicable Me 2” we attended. What some reviewers seem to have overlooked is that amid the tiny amount of slightly objectionable material is an abundance of positive themes, including familial affection and loyalty, teamwork, and (for Hollywood) a fairly high view of parenting and marriage. And let’s not forget why we go to see family comedies in the first place: to see a film that is hopefully funny and enjoyable for everyone in the family. “Despicable Me 2” delivers on both counts in spades.

Everyone in our family loved the film, and there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. We all left the theater wanting to see the film again to pick up on all the little things we’re sure we missed, which is far better than everyone leaving and telling each other the film was “OKAY.” If you enjoyed “Despicable Me,” you will not be disappointed by the sequel.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Chris, age 49 (USA)
Positive—This is a fun movie!! My husband and I laughed out loud several times, and I suspect many of the jokes went right over the heads of kids. There are a few “potty” jokes, but they reminded me of the kind of thing 6 year olds say. Many of the scenes are very sweet, and the love of Gru toward the girls is really touching. Take the kids, and if you don’t have kids, go anyway. This is 90 minutes of entertainment.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—C. Nelson, age 52 (USA)
Positive—I just wanted to comment on my viewing of “Despicable Me 2.” I had not seen the first movie until 3 days ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a therapist who works with children and families with behavioral and mental health issues. I also teach social work graduate students. This probably makes me look at children’s programming with a very critical eye. I just have one comment/complaint I would like to lodge about the sequel.

The scenes in the movie when Gru is on his “first date” were excessively abusive to the date. It was funny when she was shot with the moose tranquilizer, and some of the slapstick in getting her back home was funny, but the continued physical aggression towards her, slamming into things, being bound up on the car, all the way through until she was dropped off home ended up being excessive. It sticks out so much to me that there was probably just as much if not less physical violence against El Macho. It is understandable to have that much physical aggression with a villain but not a female. A bit of the slapstick physical humor in getting her back to the house would have been acceptable and funny, but as much as there was colored the whole rest of my view of the movie.

It is the purpose to have kids laugh when a foe of the character is beat up, but not when someone he is going out on a date with is. If there was going to be that much against her it could have possibly been put in a better context if she was a villain as well, not just an annoying, judgmental, busy body. It also sends a skewed message that is how Gru finally bonds with Lucy over this event.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Therapist, age 49 (USA)
Positive—…I really loved it. Even better than the first. No one ever really gets killed in the movie. It’s more of slapstick cartoon humor, as normally is the case. There’s no bad words really. There is violence, but as mentioned above its more of slapstick stuff. Some people who are very sensitive might be offended but things like the fart gun.

There are lots of morally sound things in it, such as the children, for the most part, always listen to Gru (their dad). One of them does meet a boy who she likes, but Gru makes sure they stay apart and doesn’t want them to close and mentions the “6 feet away” rule. It’s as always about family, overall, and, in this case, love. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt, age 21 (USA)
Positive—Excellent family movie for ages 7-9 and up. May be a little scary for younger children. Some potty humor that we could have done without, but, overall, very entertaining.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chris G, age 45 (USA)
Positive—My husband and I saw this with our four children—ages 8—15—the first weekend it was out. We all thoroughly enjoyed it! There was nothing offensive in it. It set the image from the beginning that Gru truly loved his girls. We are definitely buying this movie when it comes out.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Lisa, age 47 (USA)
Positive—A rather good family film. Some parts may be disturbing for young children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Joseph (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Looked forward to this, as did my kids (older teens)… the reviewer hit it right on; there was a lot of potty humor. It seems like there was a potty joke every few minutes. Once or twice is one thing, but it seemed like the potty jokes were to make up for a less-than-well written story. It was over the top and pushing it.

Wasn’t happy with many of the scenes discussed by the reviewer, especially the pelvic thrusts in one scene. Won’t be seeing it again, and won’t own it… just because the cussing is non-existent (good), it doesn’t mean that it should be considered great family fare. Disappointing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Casey S., age 48 (USA)
Neutral—This film caused my wife and I to wonder about the maker’s intention regarding homosexuality. Two of the minions dressed as women, and the wedding scene ended with the LGBT unofficial anthem YMCA. It seemed to us that there was a subtle claim on the marriage ceremony for same-sex unions.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Manuel Gonzales, age 66 (USA)
Neutral—The sad part about this movie is that most of the funny parts are when someone is getting hit, ran over, beaten or brutalized and that is when the crowd laughed the most. It reminded me of the old cartoons with Elmer Fudd where the humor was in hitting the other character over the head or trying to harm them even though it doesn’t hurt them.

The relationship the main guy has with the girls is cute, and he falls in love with someone which is nice because they do get married. There are some funny parts that aren’t violent. But when you look at the big picture of making violence funny, and there was a lot of sugar in the movie, like they were partying on it like alcohol and getting “drunk”. Plus there was quite a long scene of the kids that were like 13 years old with a “rico suave” kind of kid that showed sexual tension, him pulling her to him, dancing, acting way too sexual at that age. That was totally not needed.

Too bad because those little yellow characters can be funny because they are so clueless and you have no idea what they are saying. But it is sad how much violence and sugar there was in the movie. It wasn’t needed, it could have carried itself.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Stephanie Smith, age 39 (USA)
Negative
Negative—We took our girls, ages 4 and 7. We own the first movie and enjoy it time and again. From reading the review myself (mom) it seemed there was very little offensive material but after seeing the movie we disagree with the review. I didn’t hear anyone laugh out loud until near the end of the movie. The first 15 minutes Were slow. Actually, the movie had such a dark tone that my 4 year old crawled in my husband’s lap and covered her eyes during many scenes. The cause of the minions disappearance is so slowly revealed. This “transformation” of the minions and the “bad guy” with the serum will be scary for many young children.

There are direct threats that characters will be “killed” using many knives and bombs. We missed the funny gags with the shrink-ray from the first movie! The ending is sweet, but the story and humor are weak. The violence is heavy and scary. We will not recommend this movie and won’t be buying this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Kimberly, age 36 (USA)
Negative—The first movie started dark and had some moments I could have lived without, but it picked up and turned around quickly and became a movie I really enjoyed. Needless to say, when 2 came out, I wanted to see it. I was disappointed with the potty humor, too much, and not necessary. Such a great story line and fun characters, why have to go there? Who are they trying to impress? There is so much potential clean fun here… too bad. Won’t recommend and won’t buy. If you have to see it, wait til the dollar show or Netflix.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Susan Raymer, age 56 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with my 2 children ages 7 and 12. We really enjoyed this movie until I noticed the rainbow coloured flag which stands for gay pride. A feeling of somethings not right over took me. I found this strange and felt I should look more into the movie while watching it. After reflecting, was I ever shocked to notice how my children are being introduced to homosexuality at such a young age. The main character Guru, at the start of the movie is forced to cross dress as a princess to make the children happy. All the children watching in the audience thought it was funny, making it okay for a man to dress as a women.

Then all of yellow minions have male names and most of the time dress like males, which tells me their males. Then we have one minion dressed as a maid and another minion having its dressed torn off showing him in panties covering it’s chest running away. There is also a scene where all the minions are grouped together and two of them are kissing. The movie ends with the gay anthem YMCA. Check “Despicable Me 2 and homosexuality” on the Internet. Spread this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Angelo, age 34 (Canada)
Negative—The movie has a lot of homosexual undertone, with that said, we must remember that the eyes are the window to our children’s soul. Be careful what you allow into their innocent spirits. Be discerning, this movie has an agenda… to break down a child’s morals and beliefs through subconscious.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chez D, age 34 (USA)
Negative—My family LOVED the first movie, and it is one of our “go to” movies that we watch all the time! I was so excited to take my kids to the 2nd movie, thinking it would be as good, or better than the first! It was NOT!!

My kids ages are 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. My older kids seemed to enjoy it, but my 4 year old daughter was TERRIFIED of the minions, whom she loved in the first movie, because they turned into evil looking purple creatures with fangs and acted like wild animals!! She dove into my lap, shook, and hid her face in my chest. I felt just terrible!! The Mexican villain in this movie also turns into a big hairy “creature, ” that again, terrified my 4 year old, who tends to be very sensitive to things in movies. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Laurel, age 42 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—My older sister and I saw “Despicable Me 2” on the first day it was released (we’re HUGE fans of “Despicable Me”), and we both thought it was fantastic! I laughed throughout the movie, and so did everybody there. It was very cute, sweet, funny, and adventurous. There were some potty jokes, but were kept mild as a PG rated movie should be, and I didn’t think any were offensive.

This is a perfect family movie, and I highly recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Christina, age 13 (USA)
Negative—I loved watching this movie over and over again. It was cute, and my family loved “Despicable Me” One. I watched it recently, and was shocked by some material I hadn’t noticed earlier. The minions, mostly with male names and identities, were holding hands and making a heart shape (near the end of the movie). Also, there is a scene in which it looks like they are kissing. It was subtle, which was why I didn’t see it at first. It’s amazing how much we’re exposed to without noticing it. I will not be watching this movie again, nor will I allow my family to watch it. Just because it doesn’t cuss doesn’t mean that it’s a morally good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah, age 17 (USA)

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