Blu-ray Review: Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud | CAST: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/10/2013 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98, Blu-ray 3D Combo $49.98
BONUSES: featurettes, mini-movies, deleted scene, commentary
SPECS: PG | 158 min. | Animated family | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Despicable Me 2Offering a story that’s more slapstick fun than substanstance, Despicable Me 2 doesn’t live up to its prequel, but it’s still an entertaining addition to the franchise.

In this new movie, the formerly despicable Gru (voice by Steve Carell, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) has given up crime to take care of his three girls. But when a secret lab goes missing, the Anti-Villain League recruits Gru to help track down the master criminal, who they think is hiding out as a store owner in Gru’s local mall.

In comes ALW’s Lucy Wilde (Bridesmaids‘ Kristen Wiig, in a different role this time around), Gru’s new partner, who has lots of fun gadgets, like a lipstick tazer. She helps Gru track down the master criminal. But meanwhile, Gru’s minions are also going missing.

With it’s criminal-in-the-mall-plot, the Despicable Me 2 story has lots of conveniences that are easy to buy but not as original and interesting as the first film. Also, the film leans more heavily on the lovable minions doing funny things, whether it’s related to the story or not. They are used more in the story too, with an evil version providing laughs.

Still, Despicable Me 2 has heart, with Gru now learning how to be a good father — the part when he dresses up as a fairy princess is priceless — and his girls starting to grow up.

Benjamin Bratt (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) makes a good addition to the movie’s voice cast as Mexican restaurant owner and suspected master criminal Eduardo. Also new is Steve Coogan (The Other Guys), and like Wiig, Ken Jeong (Pain & Gain) returned in a different role too.

Although Despicable Me 2 is lacking compared to the original, the mini-movies on the Blu-ray make up for it. The disc contains three new mini-movies that are all worth a watch. Gru introduces the shorts, telling viewers we’d better like them or else.

Two of them feature the minions. In the adorable “Puppy,” a minion gets a new pet in the form of a mini flying saucer, and “Panic in the Mailroom” uses the evil minions idea from the film and has a fun twist at the end.

The other mini-movie, “Training Wheels,” features the so-cute Agnes (Elsie Fisher, TV’s Masha and the Bear) getting her first bike with fun results.

The shorts are the best special features, but the Blu-ray also has a deleted scenes, commentary with co-directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin and a bunch of featurettes.

The featurettes look at the actors, with Carell talking about Gru’s changes in “A Gru-Some Transformation,” Benjamin Bratt in “El Hombre Maio: The Villainy of El Macho,” and “Gru’s Girls,” Fisher, Dana Gaier and Miranda Cosgrove (TV’s iCarly). They all obviously had a good time making the film and have some fun insights on how their characters are similiar or different from them.

One of the best featurettes is actually the making-of the mini-movies, with interviews of the directors talking about their inspirations for the stories and styles. It’s an interesting and fun look at the creative process and how French and American sentimentalities came together to make good entertainment.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.