During my last review we saw a story about a supervillain learning the importance of love via the rather daft plot mechanic of adopting three orphan girls.
And the world was forever changed when it was introduced to the Minions.
|I promise you that the movie is still about Gru.|
Anyway, now that Gru has a family the writers thought it was time for him to get a love life. Even if those two things normally happen the other way around.
So, let's have a watch of Despicable Me 2 and see if it's as good as the first one.
|Annoyingly it doesn't specify exactly where, so I've got no jokes to make.|
Yep, you read that right. It's not a theft from the research station, but the theft of the station. The entire thing. With a huge magnet.
|Because physics and stuff.|
And who else could he be referring to other than our protagonist, Gru?
|As seen here, in as good a mood as ever.|
|The most successful super villain of all time.|
|As seen here.|
Seriously, she might as well not be here.
And of course there's Margo, the only one who impacts the movie at all.
|I have no joke to make, I just think she looks adorable in armour.|
|Best thing about doing this review blog? Noticing all of the background gags.|
|Although it's not really a background gag at this point.|
But since he can't disappoint Agnes, he comes up with a solution.
|This was also my expression watching this scene.|
As such, I've never been able to sit through what happens next without muting it.
|And every child there suffered chronic nightmares for months afterwards.|
After this abomination comes to a close the background woman sidles up to Gru and tries to hook him up with her recently single friend Natalie.
|Oh look at that, she came dressed as the cake.|
Gru very calmly and politely turns her down.
|He makes his point in a subtle but clear manner.|
|Hmmm, she met Gru 5 seconds after the movie brought up the idea of Gru getting a romantic partner.|
I wonder what role she'll be having in the movie.
They might as well have little cupids flying around because it's that obvious.
|The 'fire and ice personalities' joke is also obvious.|
|In typical Minion fashion.|
|The reveal shot is still impressive though.|
Also, his name's Ramsbottom.
|Because casual racism is hilarious.|
|Someone got paid for that joke.|
I fully expect the next movie to involve a Freudian excuse for why he wears a certain shade of grey over others.
|Because in movieland, every childhood moment has to have lasting consequences.|
Which would be funny it if hadn't been done to death.
Anyway, Gru descends into the labs and meets with Dr Nefario, who's been working diligently on Gru's new, legal, business venture.
A delicious line of jams and jellies.
|Clearly Nefario has found his calling.|
|It was a very moving farewell, until the fart joke.|
|It was no great loss.|
|And no, I'm not the first to notice.|
After removing their laptop he surprises them with the news that he's decided to join the SHIELD knockoff and become a spy, making his original lie from the first movie into a truth.
|Gru, the master of disguise, is not in this picture.|
|The writers were so proud of it they even had the characters stop to comment on it, just to make sure you wouldn't miss it.|
|Such a graceful lady.|
|He likes her.|
Luckily it's a very short sequence which never gets brought up again, so we can skip it.
Lucy gives Gru the low-down on their neighbours, aka suspects.
Gru discounts most of them until they get interrupted by the owner of the nearby taco restaurant. The walking insult to Mexican culture takes a liking to Lucy and places an order for some cupcakes.
Why do I call him a walking insult to Mexico? Because he's quite possibly the laziest written supervillain cliche of all time.
|Gee, I wonder where he's from?|
Which literally translates as 'The Man'.
The joke is that he was very manly.
|And he was a masked luchadore because, as I mentioned, the writers were being lazy that day.|
Lucy rebuts that it couldn't be El Macho, because El Macho died. From being fired into a volcano. By lots of rockets. Wearing a vest made of dynamite. Whilst riding a shark.
|And this is the exact moment when jumping the shark jokes jumped the shark.|
They decide to break into El Macho's restaurant to search for the serum, so Gru rushes through putting the girls to bed. But of course Agnes needs his help going over her lines for the Mother's day show.
Seriously? The writer's plan to kep the kids relevant was to have a Mother's day show go on whilst Gru gets to know his new female (And attractive) partner?
They even have Agnes look all upset over the fact that she doesn't have a mother so she can't act properly.
|Even Gru can't believe how lazy this scene was.|
He hastily recruits two Minions to look after the girls and two more to come with him on the mission. The scene is notable because of two of the names he uses.
Kevin and Stuart.
The protagonists from the Minions movie.
Which utterly ruins the climax of the Minions movie, where it looks like they killed off Kevin.
|And yes, I did check, their designs are identical.|
|But first, a quick cat scare cliche.|
|Why do so many shows and movies aimed at children involve grown men choking chickens?|
|There's some kind of joke about blue balls and chickens here, I just know it.|
El Macho returns and is immediately suspicious when he finds his front door has been kicked in. Gru and Lucy manage to escape in the nick of time, with some help from Stuart and Dave.
|'Help' is a strong word.|
Because this movie has already given children nightmares, might as well give parents nightmares too.
|Especially when you consider how childlike the latest movie made them out to be.|
|Tom Clancey eat your heart out.|
|I think this means the girls like her, but I'm not sure.|
Dang, I've got to train my nephew to start saying that.
Gru gives Margo some money in order to keep them distracted.
Which of course gives Lucy a chance to see how Gru acts around the children, because apparently no woman can resist a man who's good with kids.
I'm just going to take a quick note of that.
Anywhoo, they gloss over the whole thing and get back to work, with Gru investigating the wig shop.
But first, Margo meets a boy.
|An Emo boy, but still a boy. Technically.|
And just in case you couldn't guess, Antonio is the son of El Macho.
Because lazy storytelling.
|Gee, I wonder what Gru's reaction will be?|
Back to the plot that matters, Gru enters the wig shop with a belt buckle that can sense the serum and he sneakily inspects the place.
Gru reacts in the least cliche manner possible of course.
|Did I say least? Most. I meant most.|
The joke is supposed to be that it's a stupid dream, but I'm guessing the writer's have never heard of Let's Plays.
El Macho himself comes out and spots Gru, giving him a massive bear hug.
Antonio lets drop that he's his son, so of course Gru renews his insistence that the restaurant owner is responsible for the serum theft.
If this movie was less lazy, Gru would be proven wrong and he would learn a valuable lesson about letting daughters grow up and start dating.
But since this is the halfway mark, that's obviously not going to happen.
|See? Almost exactly halfway.|
So, as any father would do, Gru tries to get the family of his daughter's boyfriend arrested.
|Ramsbottom has the same expression I had when I watched this scene.|
I may have just spoiled the surprise, but it's a beach.
|And the Minions don't question it. Because they're idiots.|
|And it could be absolutely anybody behind it.|
And also, Gillian's a terrible matchmaker.
|Apparently she thinks Gru's interested in blow-up dolls.|
Wearing the wig.
For some reason.
|And it looks so natural.|
The date goes bad once Gru's hair starts slipping, but fortunately Lucy happens to be there (What a crazy coincidence) and she rescues him.
Which is good because normally in movies like this they would have an awkward misunderstanding, so it's refreshing for them to not hit that cliche as well.
|These two are professional spies.|
But anyway, Lucy and Gru bond over shooting someone with a moose tranquiliser, Lucy even giving Gru a peck on the cheek.
|And once again Gru reacts to a situation in the exact same manner as me.|
So yeah, Minions weren't the most annoying thing to come out of this franchise.
(I'm kidding, I actually love that song).
It's actually kinda charming seeing Gru so happy. He dances with random people, helps ducks cross the road and does some tai-chi in the park.
It doesn't last of course, since Ramsbottom shows up to spoil the fun. They're arrested Floyd, terminated their agreement with Gru and have reassigned Lucy to somewhere ridiculously remote.
|Who was it who said "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all."?|
Because that person's a frigging idiot.
So Gru walks home, doing the exact opposite of everything he did on the way in.
|Oh, and it starts raining too, in case you couldn't tell that Gru's having a bad day.|
Because it hadn't occurred to Gru to actually do anything.
So Gru gets on the phone and makes a stuttering attempt to ask Lucy out on a date which we all know is actually a practice run because we all know that this movie couldn't do without that cliche.
|Gru and I tend to react to situations in very similar ways.|
It's to test the serum. The bad guy wants an army of super powered, extra evil Minions and this is no surprise to anybody because the adverts had been showing the darn things everywhere since day one.
|Oddly enough they manage to be less of a danger to their master in this state than they did before.|
And I use the word 'treated' quite wrongly.
As well as the word 'humour'.
|The word 'smug' however, seems quite apt.|
Yeah, I may have spoiled it, but to be fair, the movie really didn't hide it very well.
Meanwhile, Lucy is plagued by visions of Gru until she decides that she loves him and decides to go back to him.
This revelation happens mid-flight, which is a minor inconvenience.
|But only a minor one.|
It's not a surprise to the viewers of course, since why would they bother having him leave if he wasn't going to come back?
Gru's also rather annoyed that El macho kidnapped his Minions, especially when he sees what they've done to Kevin.
|What did surprise me though was the fact that Gru still recognised Kevin.|
Gru does what anyone should do in this situation and backs away slowly.
Once upstairs he gathers the girls, but Margo's moping because Antonio was a jerk who started dancing with other girls, because if you don't like someone then it's probably justified.
|Also, there's no way he survived that.|
Yay for feminism.
|The female lead got outwitted by a chicken.|
Once Gru gets home he's contacted by Nefario, who warns him that Lucy's been captured and that El Macho is coming after Gru.
So Gru does the only thing he can think of.
He gets on his motorbike and abandons the children.
|"Get your motor running,|
Head out on the highway!"
But first, Kevin-vision.
|I find it hard to believe that any of Gru's neighbours would park their freshly-cleaned car so close to his house.|
Luckily, Nefario arrives just in time to save the day, since he has an antidote for Kevin.
|He arrived literally from off-screen.|
Back to Gru, who's working on his plan to attack El Macho.
|And it is, without a doubt, the worst plan ever. Of all time.|
Until one of the Minions messes it up of course.
|See Dave, this is why Stuart got to be in the prequel and not you.|
And that's when Nefarios arrives to be a big damn hero. Again.
|Ain't he just.|
Considering Gru left them home alone when he knew a dangerous psychopath was after him, he really doesn't have the moral high ground here.
|At least Nefario thought to give them some guns.|
|I know I should be concerned for Lucy, but I'm more concerned for that poor shark.|
|I'm just wondering why the hair on his head didn't turn purple. Or poofy.|
|And people getting tasered is apparently funny.|
Meaning that our big romantic climax occurs on the back of a shark, strapped to rockets, covered with TNT and on their way to a volcano.
Which would be so incredibly awesome if the joke hadn't already been used earlier.
|Well done writers, you somehow managed to make this uninteresting.|
They survive the fall, naturally, and kiss as the volcano explodes behind them.
|Or they would have kissed, but they had to write in one more Minions joke.|
The girls are really happy about this, which is only natural given the 15 seconds of screentime they shared.
Ok, I get that that's what the '147 days later' thing was about, but did they really not have enough time in the movie to show they girls getting to know Lucy at all?
|They had enough time for a Minions as Westlife joke, but not enough for the girls to say more than three words each to their new mother?|
Which is really annoying, because I actually enjoyed the first one. A lot of people did. It was imaginative. It took the Tropes it had available and it played with them like Play-Doh.
But this movie was just a by-the-numbers sequel. The clearest examples were the lazy villain (Cliche), lazy romance (They don't like each other but they have to work together) and lazy jokes (Shark-jumping that turned into an overly long gag. About shark jumping).
Fortunately for me, I only paid £1 for it.
Next week (Hopefully) I'll be reviewing one of the all time greatest Christmas movies.