Despicable Me 2

Gru lets his minions do the comedy work in this silly sequel

Retired super villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell: The Office) is a great dad to his three adopted daughters. But he isn’t very good at life on the side of right.
    Plus he has to figure out what to do with his evil scientist partner and scores of odd yellow minions.
    Gru’s best idea is to turn his evil laboratory into a jam-and-jelly factory. But the mad scientist is only able to make evil jelly, which apparently
doesn’t taste very good.
    As if losing his evil identity weren’t enough, Gru must fend off overeager mothers clamoring to set him up with their single girlfriends.
    His chance for a much-needed life change comes when the Anti-Villain League recruits him to solve a recent crime spree. A mysterious criminal has stolen vast quantities of a secret formula that turns mild-mannered creatures into unstoppable, purple killing machines. The AVL has tracked the formula to a local mall, where one of the shop owners is suspected of moonlighting as a force of evil.
    Gru goes undercover as a mall bakery owner to discover which of four suspects is the culprit. Not used to fighting for the forces of good, Gru gets a partner, Lucy (Kristen Wiig: Arrested Development), to help him with his cover. Bossy, awkward and more than a little odd, Lucy is obviously the Yin to Gru’s Yang.
    A sequel to 2010’s sweet and smart villain comedy, Despicable Me 2 is all laughs and no substance. With Gru and Lucy trapped in a will-they-or-won’t-they romantic comedy, most of the genuine laughs come from Gru’s minions. They dress up in preposterous costumes, engage in delightful slapstick and jibber-jabber at each other constantly. It’s silly but
pretty funny.
    The heart of the first film was Gru, falling in love with and adopting three orphans. The film still works best and feels sincere when Gru interacts with his daughters. Those moments are few and far between, as the family aspects of the film take a backseat to the romantic spy plot.
    As for the 3D showing, I’m still not convinced that a pair of plastic glasses is worth an extra $10. If you’re just dying to see the minions throw things directly at you, by all means go to the 3D showing; but you won’t lose anything by seeing the film in 2D.
    Though it’s lacking the wit and depth of Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 did get the audience giggling right off the bat. Children were in fits of hysteria as the minions sported coconut bras and sang late 1990s hits translated into gibberish. If you can’t appreciate a good site gag, fart joke or a
visual pun, however, Despicable Me 2 is going to be a long slog.

Good Animation • PG • 98 mins.