BLU-RAY REVIEW: Despicable Me 2
Sequel to Fan-Favorite Animated Family Film Hits Home Video...
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When Despicable Me hit theaters in 2010, it became a fan-favorite with kids and adults alike. An engaging, entertaining and down-right fun family story featuring a bad guy-turned-good and three orphaned children in need of a parental figure, Despicable Me continues to entertain fans, even now, years after its release.
Now, with the recent release of Despicable Me 2, fans young and old alike once again find an entertaining and engaging story filled with new characters, new bad guys, and more excitement, adventure and comedy. In fact, Despicable Me 2 is so popular, it's breaking sales records as previously mentioned here.
With Despicable Me 2, the fan-favorite Gru (Steve Carell) returns, no longer the evil criminal mastermind, now a father to daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Anges (Elsie Fisher). Attempting an unsuccessful jam-making business with the help of his Minions and Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his merry band of hilarious henchmen Minions, Gru can't seem to find his way in the world. Unfortunately, Dr. Nefario too misses their past evil-doing and thus leaves Gru to work for an unknown baddie, causing even more stress and grief in Gru's life. So what's Gru to do? Well, it seems Special Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) and the Anti-Villain League (AVL) want Gru to work for them as he's got an inside track with the bad guy networks and, with a recent string of unexplainable heists, it's up to the AVL, with Gru's help, to solve the case and save the world.
Maybe an awkward way to go with the sequel, but this storyline does play out and make for an entertaining and enjoyable ride. Pretty soon viewers find themselves on an adventure as we watch Margo fall for a teenage boy (of course driving Gru mad!), the Minions are kidnapped one by one and experimented on (even more so than normal!) and Gru bumps into an old colleague he thought long dead. All of this builds and compliments the rising tension between Gru and Special Agent Wilde, who subtlety flirt with one another throughout. No doubt the new story and characters will keep fans new and old alike entertained and having fun.
The blu-ray's 1080p hi-def picture will no doubt impress as the colors are beautifully transferred from the original source, lines and edges sharp and tight, little blurring or banding. Likewise, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track brings the action, drama and comedy to life. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear, surround effects play out over the sound stage and provide plenty of environmental effects; immersing viewers in the full film experience.
As for special features, the set includes a generous amount as well as some great mini-movies, three in all, which provide an expanded story for those who wish to delve just a bit deeper into the characters. The three shorts include "Puppy," "Panic in the Mailroom" and my favorite "Training Wheels." A short 6-minute "Making of the Mini-Movies" featurette is also includes. Other bonus features include an audio commentary with directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, which is insightful and fun at times; the 6-minute "Gru's Girls," which focuses on Gru's three daughters and how they're different compared to the first film; the 5-minute "A Gru-some Transformation" about Gru and his change from baddie to good guy; the 3-minute "The Minions" which has filmmakers discussing Gru's hilarious henchmen; the 4-minute "Evil Minions," which shows a bit of info on a major plot point in the film; the 4-minute "El Hombre Malo" about the film's new villain; the 4-minute "Gadgets Galore" about the film's many fun gadgets and gear; and finally a single deleted scene.
Overall, Despicable Me 2 is just as fun, engaging and entertaining as the first film. While maybe not as groundbreaking and original, it's still no doubt more family fun than most recent movies out on home video. It's got the awesome original cast from the first film along with a number of new and exciting characters, a new adventure with an engaging conflict and - maybe best of all - a plot that develops and expands the original film's story. Fun for the whole family, Despicable Me 2 is a great time for all!
Despicable Me 2 is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Copy wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley