Cocktails and Movies Review – “Despicable Me 2:” Incurably Adorable

Yet Another Successful Trip With Our Inner Children at Cocktails and Movies!

cocktails and movies Despicable Me 2 MovieFatherhood, for the most part, tends to mellow even the most hardcore guys. In the case of former evil genius Gru (Steve Carell), it’s turned him into a Jelly/Jam entrepreneur that’s given up the world (literally) for his daughters. Instead of fighting off heroic forces, he’s fighting off boys who want the hand of his eldest daughter. Instead of trying to take over the world, he’s been recruited to save it. Most weirdly, instead of avoiding women, he’s badgered by his nosy next door neighbor (and to a certain extent, his own adopted kids) to start dating her “interesting” friends.

Things have gotten more complicated for Gru since Despicable Me, and thankfully they haven’t gotten any less enjoyable. I would even go out on a limb and say that Despicable Me 2 manages to be even funnier than its predecessor. The frantic laugh count is thanks to some sharp writing, as well as the talents of everyone from Carell himself to franchise new-comers Kristen Wiig (as secret agent Lucy Wilde, a person of interest for Gru) and Benjamin Bratt (taking the role of Eduardo after Al Pacino AND Javier Bardem had both quit and dropped out respectively). The comedic chemistry between the leads, as well the fully stocked cast of background characters (employing the likes such as Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Nasim Pedrad and Kristen Schaal), manages to make this one of the funniest animated films I’ve seen in quite a long time. This, of course, is without even mentioning a key factor to this film’s success: The Minions.

Despicable Me 2 MinionsThe Minions, never even mentioned in the first script for the original film,  manage to factor into the plot more importantly this time, as they are all slowly disappearing from Gru’s residence and being brought to an undisclosed location. But not before getting some well earned Minion-centric gag set-pieces in, several involving those aforementioned abductions. Their unique brand of physical comedy, as well as costume humor and light pop culture references are unbeatable when it comes to a secondary character that shines brighter than the main cast. Unfortunately, the comedic overload with this film comes at a cost.

The action sequences, and ultimate quest of Gru’s newly minted career as a secret agent, seem like a bit of an afterthought in the grand scheme of things. They honestly could have dropped the sub-plot involving the tracking of a secret villain and focused more on Gru’s dating woes as the main plot. You could have split Gru’s dating woes and Gru’s work with the Anti Villain League into two separate films, and be ready for production on Despicable Three, but with both plots combined into one, it really leaves the series at a “What’s Next?” juncture. We’ve got a Minion movie with Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm to look forward to next year, but that’s Minion-centric and won’t bring back Gru and the Girls, as it takes place in the 1960’s.

Despicable Me had a lot of laughs with a warm and cozy central story involving the importance of family. Despicable Me 2 pays lip service to the warm and cozy bits in favor of drop dead laughter. It’s good to have the latter, but the former is what’s stopping Illumination Entertainment from becoming a Pixar, or even a Dreamworks circa “How To Train Your Dragon” success. They aren’t far off, but if they’re not careful, they’ll fall into the same traps Shrek did. We all remember how well that turned out, don’t we? Still, all criticism aside, Despicable Me 2 is easy, enjoyable fun that makes you laugh and smile the whole way through. You’re kids will love it too, so that’s always something.

Cocktails and Movies Review: 4 out of 5 Peanut Butter Banana Milkshakes

Are the kids in bed yet? Do you even have any kids? Are you going on a 21+ date night/friendly outing to see this flick? Then we still have something sweet for you to imbibe in. Behold, the Banana Strawberry Kiwi Batida!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Leblon Cachaca
  • 1 oz Milk (condensed)
  • 2 Strawberry(s)
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 Kiwi
  • Garnish: Kiwi
  • Glass: Highball Glass
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender with some ice.
  • Blend until smooth and pour into a highball glass.
  • Garnish with a kiwi slice.

A purple concoction, in honor of the Purple variant of the Minions you’ll see in the flick. This sounds absolutely delicious, and it allows us adults to have a little bit of milkshake action ourselves. Thanks to SpiritDrinks.com for the recipe!