Despicable Me 2 serves its purpose – entertaining the kids. It’s bright and colorful and quirky and cute. Adults may be a tad disappointed at the lack of any real narrative or drama, but all in all, the movie is more than fun enough to justify 98 minutes in an air-conditioned theater.
Here’s the gist: Reformed super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), his mad-scientist partner, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), and their bright yellow minions are walking the straight and narrow in suburbia. They’ve started a (less than successful) jelly-making business, and Gru is busy raising his three adopted girls – Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher). One day, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to help track down a bad guy who used a giant magnet to steal a research lab in the Arctic Circle – along with a serum that could transform people into monstrous creatures. The serum is thought to be stored somewhere in the local shopping mall. Gru and an efficient, no-nonsense agent named Lucy (Kristen Wiig) go undercover as shop owners. And lo and behold, Gru starts to fall for Lucy. And well, you know how that goes…
Gru is a total softie in this movie, and his nemesis (Eduardo/El Macho, voiced by Benjamin Bratt) isn’t all that menacing. So the plot plays rather thin. That said, the girls are adorable… the minions are fun to watch in all their gibberish glory… and the sequel retains the heart and humor of the original. DM2 isn’t as good as DM1, but it’s still solid, family-friendly fare. I mean, hey, how can you go wrong with a 21-fart-gun salute and a legion of minions covering songs by the likes of All-4-One and the Village People?
p.s. Don’t leave before the credits roll or you’ll miss out on some fun stuff.