Gru and, most importantly, the Minions are back. Steve Carell once again provides the voice of the (now former) villain. With his priorities including being a father to his adopted girls and developing a line of jellies and jams, things have settled down considerably from his days of stealing the moon. When a dangerous, top secret formula is stolen, however, the Anti-Villain League comes a knocking – not to accuse Gru, but to enlist his help in saving the world.
Most of the cast is back for the sequel, including Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, the oldest of the three girls, Russel Brand as Gru’s assistant Dr. Nefario, and Kristen Wiig in a new role as over-enthusiastic AVL newbie, Lucy Wilde. Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, and Moisés Arias appear for the first time.
Pretty much everything you loved about the first movie makes its return. Gru is eccentric, though no longer villainous. Agnes (Elsie Fisher) is just as cute as ever, and the Minions are still completely bizarrely fascinating and completely hilarious in their own unique way. It’s little wonder they are getting their own film soon – this is as much their show as any of the other characters, without saying more than half a dozen comprehensible words.
The animation is bright, smooth, fun and in popping 3D. Laughs are around nearly every corner while the plot moves at a reasonably fast clip. Some elements of the story are rather predictable, but such is the nature of childrens’ films and it moves along quickly enough that you don’t often stop long enough to even notice.
Kristen Wiig’s Lucy Wilde and the Minions steal the show any time they’re on screen. Wiig might as well have used motion capture tech for this film, the character is so obviously her. She plays up the lovable quirks to their fullest extent with great success. The Minions, of course, are great – but I mentioned that already.
The best thing Despicable Me 2 knows what it is and what makes it entertaining. It doesn’t try to have too many layers to it or pull off Oscar worthy cinema. It may not be a “better film” than Monsters University but, I dare say, it is more fun. Those who accuse the film of abandoning what made it unique, or stooping to levels of crude and sexist jokes I think may be falling victim of overthinking it – something this film doesn’t do, quite well. Yes there are fart jokes and a date scene which, if you think too hard about, could be construed as a little disturbing. But Gru is still something of a villain, after all – he can’t be all unicorns and fairy princesses all of the time
This is a nearly flawless animated feature. It’s witty, endearing, and a ton of fun. Kids will eat it up like ice cream and adults will be happy to be along for the ride.
Mrs Hamster Says:
“The kids and the Minions are the best part!”
My Rating: Four out of Five Hats
Despicable Me 2 sneaks into 3,900 theaters July 3 in 2D and 3D