Evil Minions Rule!
Providing a solid, frequently laugh-out-loud follow-up to the excellent original, Despicable Me 2 thunders along at a breakneck pace, packing in the adult references amidst the child-friendly humour, and further cementing the seemingly unstoppable popularity of those lovable Minions; paving the way for next year’s spin-off film dedicated to their origins.Cleverly developing the interaction between once super-villain Gru and his adopted girls without having to resort to the standard sequel fall-back (have them split up and then get back together), Despicable Me 2 succeeds in creating a fairly decent villain, whose nefarious plans seep into the narrative slowly at first, but excels in what it does with the minions – and the ultimate payoff is both hilarious and satisfying.With plenty of nice horror references, and nods to alien abductions, the best moments include a World War Z tsunami and a brilliant Alien reference, as well as some Scarface nods – although it’s a shame that Pacino dropped out of his role in the film, as that would have made them far more effective. Still, the presence of Kristen Wiig makes up for that somewhat, playing well opposite Steve Carell’s consistently entertaining Gru and dominating the piece.
Super-powersWhilst both the original and this sequel largely make for demo material for the 3D format, they also look stunning in 2D, and Despicable Me 2’s 1080p/AVC High Definition video presentation – in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen – is certainly the best video presentation that I’ve come across this year for an animated feature. The frame is simply packed to the hilt with detailed flourishes, and yet edge definition remains unparalleled throughout, with crystal clear clarity and razor sharpness. The colour scheme is bright and vibrant and vivid, with plenty of 3D pop even notwithstanding the lack of that added dimension in the presentation. Blacks are strong and deep and there’s no sign of any digital defects – compression, artifacting and noise are all non-existent.
Even without the 3D angle, the video still boasts plenty of 3D pop, and looks absolutely stunning.
On the aural front the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track strikes out as a similarly impressive mix, benefiting from the sheer spectacle at the heart of many of Despicable Me 2’s best set-pieces. From the ‘zombie’ tsunami to the rockets; from the explosions to the zapping gadgets, there’s no end of boisterous set-pieces to bring your living room to life. Thankfully, though, the quieter moments still buzz with energy, and allow for a constant atmosphere to remain, as surrounds get a consistent workout and the LFE channel is never left out in the cold either. Between the score and the action there’s plenty of noise to this mix, but it’s the dynamic breadth and ambient potency that leave this a surprisingly effective offering as a whole.
MinionsAs with Despicable Me, the best thing about the extras department is the extra footage – Mini-Movies, normally featuring the Minions, simply make this package. Here we get a trilogy of Mini-Movies, all featuring those lovable yellow dunderheads, as well as a separate Featurette detailing the making of these mini-movies. There’s also a single, funny, Deleted Scene. A half a dozen further Featurettes round out the package by looking at Gru’s Girls, Gru’s Transformation, both versions of the Minions, the Gadgets in the film, and the evil Villain.
A nice smattering of Extras but the only ones you'll be revisiting are the hilarious Mini-(Minion)-Movies.
Ultimate DespicabilityAs sequels go, I think Despicable Me 2 does extremely well, maintaining interest, developing ideas and arcs through from the first movie, and delivering laughs and relevances to audience members across age ranges and generations.
This Region Free UK Blu-ray boasts stunning 2D video, excellent audio, and a nice smattering of extra features, leaving this a must-have for fans of this – or the first – movie.
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