Despicable Me 2 Review – Violence & Mexican Stereotypes

Despicable Me 2 Review   Violence & Mexican Stereotypes reviews 2  Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me

Illumination Entertainment

Despicable Me 2 Review

*spoiler alert*  Read at your own risk…

I saw Despicable Me 2 with my 5 year old yesterday. I was disappointed that it was not kid-friendly for a toddler AT ALL. There were multiple scenes with kidnappings, people getting hit by cars and excessive violence, not to mention the fact that the minions changing from fun and friendly little goofs to violent deranged animals had my daughter covering her eyes again and again.  There was also a scene where animal testing was shown and a small rabbit was injected with a serum that turns it into a large purple beast, which then turns on the lab technician.

I have to admit that I didn’t even think about checking the film rating because I wrongly assumed that Despicable Me 2 would be much like the original Despicable Me, which we loved for it’s focus on the importance of family and sticking together.  It was funny, cute and really had something for everyone.

This movie was dramatically different, in that the film was more focused on Gru’s love interests and the portrayal of the villain, than his relationship with the three girls he had adopted previously.

In this film, Gru decides to turn good and is recruited by a spy agency to save the world.  But in his quest to find the bad guy, there was also the fact that all of the suspects in the film just happened to be minorities. Any white suspects were immediately dismissed as possible threats, while the Chinese and Mexican shop owners were targeted.

El Macho (Eduardo)

Despicable Me 2 Review   Violence & Mexican Stereotypes reviews 2  Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me

Illumination Entertainment

The main villain in the movie is Mexican. I had the feeling they were doing this to be “inclusive”, but it actually ended up being offensive. He was an obese man with a mustache and gold chain around his neck and a very thick accent. When he spoke, he kind of shimmied and danced around the room, because, you know…all Latin people dance. *sarcasm*

He is a caricature.

The villan’s name is “El Macho” and coincidentally he owns a Mexican restaurant (apparently the only career choice of Mexicans) and has a huge cinco de mayo bash toward the end of the film, which appears to occur in a mansion-looking place, so you get the impression that he’s not from humble means…meaning he makes his money in other ways.

I was not a fan of this character at all.

I do appreciate that they tried to include the appearance of a Luchador in the film.  It would have been fun if the cultural relevance and even some of the ring tricks were there, however, they weren’t, so this possible attempt completely fell flat in my eyes.

There also was the inclusion of Eduardo’s son, a slick, Euro-trendy mock of D.F. residents.  He was smooth, he was an apparent exaggeration of the “Latin-lover” and at the end of the film, he ends up cheating on Gru’s oldest daughter, Margo.  Surprise, surprise.

To be fair, there were some good scenes in the film, although limited.  The ending of the film was good. It was sweet and heart-warming just like the first movie. I also admit that I liked the idea of creating a love interest for Gru and potential mom for the girls.

There is a funny mishap with Gru’s new career as a jelly maker, which comes back as an unexpected twist at the end of the film.  Quirks like these are what made the first film so endearing.

I only wish that they would have achieved more of these types of scenes during the film instead of leaving it off for the end.  I wish there had been more scenes with Gru and the girls and more with the funny and quirky minions.  Instead, there were too many scenes that didn’t really fit together or felt forced.

I wouldn’t recommend watching Despicable Me 2 with younger kids due to excessive violence, and not at all if you’re concerned about overt stereotypes, as they were very evident in the film.

Ultimately, we won’t be watching this one when it comes to DVD.

More on Despicable Me 2:

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Comments

  1. HORACIO says

    Ok, I AM MEXICAN IN MEXICO, I AM NOT INVADING YOUR COUNTRY, EVEN I HAVE TO LEARN ENGLISH TO HAVE A GOOD INCOME, I ACCEPT THAT, I AM ADULT AND IT PROFESSIONAL, it’s ok.

    NOW My feelings for the movie tend to be from optimistic to the most expected child´s movie of the last 2 years, FIRST MOVIE, I LOVED, now, I am sad, and highly disappointed … have to say,, finger to you producer guys,,, it’s kind of boring, you know ……. we both Americans (US people and Mexicans in America continent),,,, we don’t even choose where to born,,, but you guys always choose to segregate, take away and defame the image of the Mexicans,

    My kid asked WHY WE ARE SO BAD! a little explanation was enough for a smart kid. But…………………..

    I AM CONFUSED !!!! I THOUGHT THAT YOU WANT US TO LOVE YOU !!! BUY YOUR STUFF AND IDENTIFY WITH YOUR LIFE STYLE, ASKING US TO PAY ATTENTION ON YOU, BE TOLERANT(even in comedy) AND CREATE A SIMPHATY !!!!

    but,,,,, are you freaking crazy ??? WATH DO YOU WANT ??

    KEEP US BUYING MEANWHILE YOU GIVE US A KICK IN THE B***S ???

    I WAS REALLY SURE ON BUYING 3D BLUE RAY !!!! NOW I DON’T, I DON’T WANT MY KIDS TO HAVE HARD FEELINGS BCAUSE THE MOVIE
    Everybody knows we have issues in Mexico, but you people in US are drug abusers …. just to say something….
    so what !!?!?!?,, not all the people in Mexico are Fat, and 5 de Mayo is not the biggest holiday !!!!!!!!!!! September 16th is ….. I AM SURE YOU HEARD BEFORE !!!!

    I WONT BUY YOUR RACIST STUFF

  2. Karen says

    I was also very excited to watch this movie with my son. However I left the movie theater extremely disappointed. I am mexican but despite of this, they make fun of this character who's name is "Macho" and he is a mexican overweight and hairy man, who is pretty ridiculous. As if this stereotype wasn't offensive enough, he owns a mexican food restaurant and has a tattoo of the mexican flag on his chest. I felt like it was one thing after the other.

    • Chantilly Pati&ntild says

      Karen, I felt the same way. It was overwhelming and during the film, my husband and I just looked at each other fuming. It was too much and the number of layers they fabricated into this character to emphasize the stereotypes was just disgusting. We are not interested in ever watching this film again. Very disappointed and sad that my daughter saw as much as she did. I don't want her to see portrayals like that ever. :(

  3. Richard says

    The Mexican People hereby declare De SPIC able ME 2 to be unbelievably racist and total garbage. The producers should be publically required to explain what they were thinking producing such a racially hatefilled movie.

      • Hagit says

        Pacino allegedly bailed because he found it too “offensive,” but before we give him a cocktail party, let’s remember that he was among the many Italian and Jewish actors who populated “Scarface,” and in particular gave us Tony “Naw Mang” Montana, who is to this day coloring people’s perceptions of Cuban immigrants.

  4. Chantilly Pati&ntild says

    That is so true. Definitely one of the reasons why it worries me. Already Latinos are all made out to be "illegals" in the media…or lazy, or criminals, or welfare recipients. There are too many stereotypes already. We definitely don't need to be reinforcing them for a younger generation.

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