Saturday, July 13, 2013

Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated family sci-ficrime comedy film and the sequel to the 2010 animated film Despicable Me. Produced by Illumination Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, both films are directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Steve CarellRussell Brand, and Miranda Cosgrove reprise their roles. Kristen Wiig, who played Miss Hattie in the first film, voices agent Lucy Wilde. Ken Jeong, who played Talk Show Host, voices Floyd Eagle-san. New cast members include Benjamin Bratt as Eduardo and Steve Coogan as Silas Ramsbottom, head of the Anti-Villain League. The film premiered on June 5, 2013 in Australia,[7] and was theatrically released in the United States on July 3, 2013.[2]
A spin-off film, Minions, focusing mainly on Gru's yellow henchmen before they have met, is set to be released on December 19, 2014

Plot[edit]

A secret laboratory near the Arctic Circle is stolen by a mysterious vehicle using a giant magnet. The Anti-Villain League (AVL) becomes suspicious because the lab contained a mutating chemical compound, PX-41, which transforms living things into indestructible killing machines. The organization decides to recruit Gru, a former villain, to help the AVL prevent the mutating chemical from getting into the wrong hands. Meanwhile at Gru's, it is Agnes' Birthday along with a bunch of kids and the fairy Gru scheduled for her cancels so Gru is forced to dress up like a fairy to not disapoint Agnes by the bad news and Agnes admits she knows its him but was acting to make sure the other kids dont find out
Lucy Wilde, an AVL agent, forcibly abducts Gru while celebrating Agnes' birthday after stunning him with her lipstick taser. Two of Gru's minions who try to thwart her plans are captured also. They travel to AVL's underwater headquarters where Gru meets the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom. He asks Gru to assist them in their efforts to track down the perpetrator and the missing mutagen. Gru refuses, preferring to concentrate on his new venture of producing bottled jellies and the responsibilities of being a father to his three adopted girls, Margo, Agnes and Edith. Before he leaves, Lucy admits she was impressed by his work as a villain and gives her business card to Gru, urging him to contact her if he changes his mind. Upon returning to his lab, Gru realizes that his minion-run production line had churned out bottles of awful-tasting jellies. Also, his research scientist, Dr. Nefario, confesses to Gru that he misses being "evil" and has been offered employment elsewhere. After giving Dr. Nefario a 21 fart-gun send-off with the minions, Gru contacts Lucy and takes on the task of recovering the stolen mutagen.
Traces of chemical scent given off by the mutagen narrow the search to the confines of The Paradise Shopping Mall. Gru and Lucy work undercover as the owners of a cupcake shop in the mall. Gru suspects one of the owners of a restaurant in the mall, named Eduardo, is an old super-villain called El Macho, who supposedly died after skysurfing a TNT-laden shark into an active volcano. Lucy and Gru decide to break into his restaurant but are spotted by Eduardo's pet chicken and narrowly escape being detected by Eduardo when he returns back to his shop late in the night. However, they find only a jar of secret-recipe salsa in his safe and nothing relevant to link Eduardo to the crime. While the team investigates wig merchant Floyd Eagle-san, Margo begins to develop a crush on Eduardo's son, Antonio, to Gru's frustration. The whole family is invited to Eduardo's Cinco de Mayo party at his mansion, and Gru's protectiveness of his daughter leads him to make baseless accusations to the AVL's Silas about Eduardo and his son, damaging his credibility.
Later that day, a determined matchmaking neighbor, Jillian, sets a reluctant Gru up on a date with her rude and superficial friend, Shannon. During the date, Shannon discovers Gru's wig and threatens to humiliate him, but Lucy saves him from embarrassment by shooting her with a tranquilizing dart. They take Shannon home, and Gru realizes he is in love with Lucy. When he arrives at the mall the next day, the Anti-Villain League arrest Floyd Eagle-san, who protests vehemently that he was framed, after the AVL team uncovers the empty mutagen jar in his shop. Silas tells Gru that the case is now closed and that Lucy will be reassigned to Australia, and Lucy gives him her lipstick taser before leaving. A heartbroken Gru tells Agnes that she was right that he loves her. However, Gru is unable to muster the courage to ask Lucy out before she leaves. The family then goes to Eduardo's party. Gru follows Eduardo and discovers that he was correct about Eduardo being the presumed-dead super-villain El Macho. Gru also discovers that Dr. Nefario has been working for Eduardo and that the duo has been capturing and mutating some of Gru's minions into purple-furred monsters using the stolen mutagen serum. Eduardo offers Gru a chance to conquer the world, but Gru makes unconvincing excuses and hastily leaves with the girls. Margo has also broken up with Antonio as he became interested in another girl. For breaking her heart, Gru encases Antonio in a block of ice with his freeze-ray.
Lucy, while in the plane bound for Australia, realizes that she wants to be with Gru, and jumps out to hang-glide to the party. Eduardo discovers her true identity and captures her after his chicken retrieves her AVL ID badge from her purse. Dr. Nefario calls Gru to tell him that Lucy has been captured. Gru disguises two of his minions in purple cupcake frosting to escort him as their prisoner into Eduardo's compound in a rescue attempt. Gru manages to restore the minions who were under El Macho's control using guns full of the awful-tasting jam infused with Dr. Nefario's antidote. El Macho then drinks some PX-41 which mutates him into a monster. Gru disorients El Macho with Lucy's lipstick taser, and Gru's restored minions finish him off with PX-41 antidote guns, while Gru tries to untie Lucy, who is strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket, Eduardo's pet chicken triggers the launch remote, sending the pair flying towards the lava-spewing volcano where El Macho faked his death. While on the rocket, Lucy accepts Gru's date invitation before the pair dives into the safety of the ocean, just seconds before the rocket explodes. One hundred and forty-seven dates later, the two are married and the girls finally have a mother. The minions close with a rendition of "Y.M.C.A" and "I Swear" (mistakenly sung as "Underwear") while the family dances. However, soon after the final picture is taken, a mutated purple furry minion appears, surprising the family.
During the credits, three Minions are seen "auditioning" for the upcoming Minions movie. However, a black wall showing the credits keeps falling and blocking their way.

Production[edit]

Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination Entertainment, said in July 2010 that a sequel was in the works.[24] Release was tentatively scheduled for July 3, 2013.[25] Miranda Cosgrove stated on her official Facebook and Twitter page on October 14, 2011 that she had recorded her first lines,[26] while Meledandri confirmed in February 2012 that they had started animating the film.[27]

Casting[edit]

In February 2012, it was reported that Al Pacino had joined the cast to voice the villain, Eduardo.[28] In April 2012, it was confirmed that Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher are returning to reprise their roles. Kristen Wiig, on the other hand, who voiced Miss Hattie in the original film, will voice Lucy Wilde, an agent of the Anti-Villain League (AVL) who recruits Gru to track and take a tough, Mexican villain named Eduardo. Steve Coogan has also joined the cast as Silas Ramsbottom, the head of the Anti-Villain League.[2]
On May 3, 2013, just a month before the film's premiere, it was announced that Al Pacino had left the film over creative differences about how his character should come to life.[14][29] At the time of his departure, Pacino's character had been already fully voiced and animated.[30] Chris Renaud, co-director of the film, commented Pacino's departure: "So we don't want an unhappy actor, and we want something that is well-realized on all sides. If you don't see eye to eye, sometimes it's easier to (part company) and move on from there."[29] Benjamin Bratt, who had already been considered before Pacino,[29] stepped in to voice Eduardo.[12] Chris Meledandri, producer of the film, admitted that he was not "aware of any of the major animated films of the last 15 years that has brought an actor in at such a late stage."[30] Due to the finished animation, Bratt had to match his timing exactly to the character's mouth movement.[31]Initially, during his five-day recording,[30] he tried to imitate the Pacino's voice, but found it impossible, saying "no one can out-Al Pacino Al Pacino." He ended using Pacino only as an inspiration, and resolved to his own interpretation of the character.[32] His work was commended by Variety, saying: "You'd never guess he wasn't the filmmakers' first choice."[20]

Release[edit]

Minion advertising column onKurfürstendamm in Berlin, Germany
Despicablimp circling over San Francisco during its six-month tour over the United States.
Minion Hot air ballon during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2013.
Despicable Me 2 premiered on June 5, 2013 at Event Cinemas in Bondi Junction, New South WalesAustraliaSteve Carell and Miranda Cosgrove were present at the red carpet premiere.[7][33] The American premiere was held at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles on June 22, 2013;[21] Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen WiigBenjamin BrattKen Jeong, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Nasim Pedrad and composer Pharrell were present at the "yellow carpet" premiere.[34][35] The film was theatrically released in the United States on July 3, 2013.[2] It was digitally re-mastered into IMAX 3D format and released in select international IMAX theatres.[36]

Marketing[edit]

blimp disguised as a Minion, named "Despicablimp," has been touring the United States since March 2013 in its six-month tour to promote the film's release.[37] As one of the largest airships in the world, measuring 165 feet (50 m) in length, 55 feet (17 m) in height,[37]and weighting 8,000 pounds (3.6 t),[38] it will cross the country three times during its 20,000 miles (32,000 km) long tour, visiting hundreds of events, including the film's premiere in Hollywood.[37] The blimp, an A-150 model of American Blimp Corporation,[39] can be tracked in real-time via GPS at the Despicablimp Command Center website, which also allows fans to post photos of the sightings, and compete for various prizes, including for a ride with the blimp.[37]
A mobile action video game inspired by the Despicable Me franchise, titled Despicable Me: Minion Rush, was released on June 13, 2013. The game, developed by Gameloft, was released to iPhoneiPad and Android devices. Played as one of the Minions, it allows customization of the character, who must perform various tasks, including defeating Vector and a new villain created for the game, to earn the title of Minion of the Year.[40][41] For the film's release, Roblox, a massively multiplayer online game, released two virtual items, a Minion and goggles.[42][43] Seven books were released for the film: The Junior Novel,[44] The Anti-Villain League Handbook,[45] Undercover Super Spies,[46] Attack of the Evil Minions!,[47] Make a Minion,[48] and Meet the Minions.[49]
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment partnered with more than 100 licensing and promotional partners in a deal valued unprecedented $250 million.[50] One of the partners was McDonald's, which included in its Happy Meals various Minion toys, some of them unique to a specific country.[51] To take advantage of banana-loving Minions, Chiquita Brands International ran various sweepstakes,[52] and a Minion, voiced by Pierre Coffin, performed "Chiquita Banana" song in the film.[22] Thinkway Toys released various toys and figures,[53] and Hasbro made special Monopoly and Operation games.[54]

Reception[edit]


Critical response[edit]

Despicable Me 2 has received generally positive reviews from critics. The film holds a 76% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 138 reviews with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's consensus reads: "It may not be as inspired as its predecessor, but Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs."[55]Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 62 based on 37 reviews.[56] The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.[57]
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying "While the new edition doesn't quite catch that inspired spark, there's still plenty to enjoy here courtesy of those zippy visuals and a pitch-perfect voice cast led by the innately animated Steve Carell."[11] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C, saying "By the end, every child in the audience will want his or her own monster-minion toy. Adults will just regret the way that Despicable Me 2 betrays the original film's devotion to bad-guy gaiety."[58] Stephen Whitty of the The Star-Ledger gave the film three out four stars, saying "Not only a fun cartoon but - that rare thing - a sequel which actually improves on the original."[59] Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Armed with masses of minions and an excess of adorability, Despicable Me 2 is guaranteed to charm anyone who's out of school and already bored."[60] Soren Anderson of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It's fun. It's cheerful. It's lollipop colorful. Best of all, it features lots of minion mischief, which guarantees plenty of laughs. But what it doesn't have is an edge."[61] Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It feels at times as if Despicable Me 2 actually is The Minions Movie. Coffin and Renaud and returning screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio haven't managed to come up with a dastardly plot to rival the shrinking and stealing of the moon from the previous film."[62] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Steve Carell's Slavic inflections as Gru do the trick, as before. Wiig's clever hesitations and comic timing help save the day."[63] Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film two and a half stars out of five, saying "It is consistently diverting and so cute you'll want to pet it. Yet it is also weightless and lacks a center."[64] Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Better, or at least sweeter, than the first, with Wiig adding some much-needed romantic charm to the toddler-level humor."[65]
Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Sure, it's not as novel as the first time we were here, but directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud stay true to the clever, slapstick vibe."[66] Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two out of four stars, saying "With its predecessor having made a whopping $540 million globally, it's no wonder that Universal saw fit to order a sequel. But it's not enough just to trot out legions of minions and cobble together a plot. Audiences deserve more imagination and inventiveness than this wan recycling."[67] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film a positive review, saying "The scope of the 'toon espionage-adventure goings-on is surprisingly limited. But the filmmakers so clearly love working on these characters, their creative joy is infectious."[68] Stephanie Merry of The Washington Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "The animation is beguiling, particularly when Lucy drives her car into the ocean, transforming it into a submarine that scoots around sharks and fish."[69]Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "While not quite as charming or unique as the original, Despicable Me 2comes awfully close, extending co-directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin's delightfully silly sensibility to a bit larger universe."[20]Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film three out of four stars, saying "It's a credit that the writing can be so funny in the moment, that it takes time to realize there's no cohesive story, zero dramatic tension and nary a practical lesson for either the characters in the film or the people watching in the theater."[70] James Rocchi of MSN Movies gave the film four out of five stars, saying "Heartfelt and hilarious, smart and silly, action-packed but never violent, Despicable Me 2 is that rare sequel that outshines its beginnings."[71]

Box office[edit]

As of July 12 2013, Despicable Me 2 has grossed $184,483,880 in North America, and $151,100,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $335,583,880.[6]
Despicable Me 2 opened in Australia and six other territories with $50 million before its release in the United States.[72] In its midnight preview, it collected $4.7 million as compared to $2 million of The Lone Ranger, a big-budget film from Walt Disney Pictures, which debuted on the same day. On its opening day, it collected $34.3 million at number one, having "the 3rd highest opening day ever for an animated feature, the 8th highest Wednesday opening ever, and the biggest Wednesday opening of all-time for Universal."[57] In North America, the film opened to #1 in its first weekend, with $83,517,315.[73] In its extended Fourth of July weekend it made a total of $143.1 million, which is the highest five-day start ever for an animated movie.

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