Sep 032013

The minions (and Gru) return in this mad, action-packed sequel. Becca investigates…

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since Gru, the bald, evil villain (with the most unidentifiable accent), and his hilarious minions exploded onto our screens. I watched it a week ago, and was struck by how often I found myself in fits of ache-inducing laughter (honestly, I was in a lot of pain). With this in mind, I was unsure – even sceptical – that Despicable Me 2 would be any better. Silly me.

Gru has turned his back on his villainous past to become a more hands-on dad to his adopted daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith and Agnes (who is as adorably odd as ever). He has also started up his own business, making jams and jellies, with Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), though his old friend would much rather be playing the evil scientist he has always been.

Life is boring, but good…until a mysterious woman named Lucy dramatically shakes things up. She kidnaps Gru and takes him to Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), the head of The Anti-Villain League – and he needs Gru’s help. A dangerous purple chemical called PX-41, that can turn people into mad, powerful versions of themselves, has been developed by an unknown baddie, and it seems only a former baddie can figure out who it is. Despite initial grumblings, Gru can hardly resist playing spy (although he is less than pleased to have Lucy as his partner), and it isn’t long before he’s getting into all kinds of slapstick hilarity.Despicable Me 2

This is what sets Despicable Me 2 and its predecessor apart from any other animated feature, I think. The comedy is an outrageous mixture of physical and the just plain unpredictable, courtesy of an intelligent script and some of America’s finest comics providing the voices to bring it to life. Kristen Wiig, for example, is exceptional, playing a feisty secret agent with all the best gadgets, like a handbag that turns into a hand-glider (I want one!), and then of course there is Steve Carell. He reprises his role as Gru, and it’s here we see a more vulnerable side to the anti-hero, as he attempts to juggle being a good dad to his girls – imagine the shock he gets when Margo meets a boy! – and finding the culprit behind PX-41. And where would he be without his loyal minions? They once again steal the show, though this time they play a more pivotal role to the story, other than a healthy dose of belly-laughter.

So, this summer, I insist you take the kids to see this film. You will be so glad you did, and not just because they will enjoy it – you all will.

Rating: 4/5