Despicable Me 2 – Movie Review

Despicable Me 2 was a solid follow up to the first quirky movie about the loveable bad guy who made a better Dad than villain.  In this installment, Gru is fully committed to fatherhood and has given up his evil plans for the far more reputable venture of jelly making.  This time, the movie is particularly centered around the theme of romance.  Gru has to face fathering a daughter who is entering “boyfriend” territory.  He has also has to face prying questions from his youngest, Agnes, who is dying for him to fall in love, because she wants a mother, as he faces prying neighbors who may mean well, but are really missing the mark by setting him up on horrific dates.  Meanwhile, his life takes a turn when he is enlisted (aka forced) to help the Anti Villain League (AVL) track down villains, and is assigned a quirky but endearing female partner.

Of course, there are a lot of laughs, and a lot of little lessons you could take away, but there were two that stood out to me because they had some particular depth.

God uses your past

The first has to do with Gru’s career.  He has fully turned from his evil, but exciting past.  Jelly making, while safe and honorable, is dull work for all involved (particularly the minions and Dr. Nefario).  They are used to work that is challenging and adventurous – jelly making is neither.  Not to mention, they are singularly bad at it.  When the AVL gets Gru involved, everyone comes alive again.  The work is exciting and challenging, and even better, it’s purposeful.  A couple things stand out about this to me.  First off, we are meant to live lives of purpose.  Second, we need to be challenged.  Third, when we live “safe” our souls wither.  We are meant for adventure and that means not always living in the safe zone.  And finally, Gru’s background wasn’t wasted.  He was able to use his shady past for good.  Turning from his evil ways didn’t mean leaving everything about his life in the past, it only required that he purpose his talents and efforts for good.

God doesn’t waste our backgrounds either.  More often than not, God takes things in our pasts that we might not be proud of, things we didn’t consider good, and he puts them to good use.  Whether that’s something we did intentionally, or something that was done to us, it doesn’t matter – God is in the business making good use of our backgrounds, just as He’s in the business of turning bad things into good.  (See Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20, Isaiah 61.)

Is there anything you can do to make it better?

The other thing that impressed me was when Agnes and Gru are talking about his relationship with Lucy, that hasn’t gone as Gru had hoped.   “Is there anything I can do to help?”  she asks in her sweet little way.  “No, Sweetheart.” Gru sadly responds.  And then Agnes asks another question – the most brilliant statement of the movie:  “Well, is there anything you can do?”  Simple.  Brilliant.  And oh-so-convicting.  It’s a turning point for Gru.  There is something he can do.  He has been playing a little bit of the victim till now, passively waiting to see what will happen, but Agnes shakes him out of that by asking him what HE can do to make it better.

How much of our lives would change for the better if we would simply ask that question of ourselves – Is there anything I can do to make this better?  It’s a beautiful life-lesson, no matter WHAT age we are.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What are things in your background you aren’t proud of, are painful, or seem pointless and unusable?
  • Do you believe that God doesn’t waste your background?  Do you believe that he can use anything and everything for good?
  • Have you ever been surprised to find that God has used something in your past for good (that you thought wasn’t good)?
  • How would it change the way you treat other people and their pasts if you really believed that God could make good use of their pasts?
  • What are the situations in your life that you aren’t happy about?  Is there anything you can do to make them better?

Review by Stacey Tuttle

For a collection of quotes from Despicable Me 2, click here.