Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove and Kristen Wiig star in the return of Gru and his minions in Despicable Me 2, a film just as funny and enjoyable as the first. Now that Gru (Carell) has adopted Margo, Agnes and Edith, his days as a villain are over, deciding instead to go into business making jelly. However, when Gru is kidnapped by Agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig), Gru gets back in the game by spying on mall owners to see which one is the villain who stole an entire laboratory. Little does he realise, however, that the villain has more in store for him.
The success of the original Despicable Me film meant that the cinema was packed full for the sequel, and the audience wasn’t disappointed. The minions are just as characterful and childish as ever and Gru’s loving relationship with his girls is what really makes the characters identifiable with the audience. The reality of a father-daughter relationship is portrayed well, with Gru’s over-protectiveness when Margo (Cosgrove) dances a little too closely with a boy and Agnes teasing him about liking Agent Wilde.
Although there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, Despicable Me 2 is inevitably not as good as the original. The film seemed a little self-indulgent at times and it took a long time to get going. Instead of focusing on the plot, the writers seemed to prefer spending time concocting little scenarios for the minions deliberately for laughs. Whilst this makes for entertaining viewing, it was disappointing to not have a strong storyline to get hooked into.
Also, I wasn’t overawed by the introduction of Agent Wilde as character. I found her quite annoying for the majority of the film and she turned out to be the opposite to what I expected in relation to Gru – instead of being a strong individual who resents having to work with Gru (which is what I expected), she ended up being an incompetent and unfortunately stereotypical ‘woman-in-need-of-a-man’s -help’ character, which grated on me.
Despicable Me 2 is still very much enjoyable, and I would certainly watch it again. The jokes are perfectly pitched for all ages, with jokes for adults as well as children – for me, the best animation series since the original Shrek. And I can’t help thinking that I would like a minion of my own.