Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Now that Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a father, he decides to give up the life of a villain, and try his hand as a small business owner until the Anit-Villian League requests his help to track down a new villain who plans to destroy the world. While he hunts for the villain he begins to develop feelings for his new partner Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig).
The strength of the first Despicable Me film was the relationship Gru has with his daughters and his minions, and these two elements are also the strength of the second film. In fact, the minions are gut-bustingly funny, and without them there wouldn't have been much of a film. Despicable Me 2 suffers as most sequels do in trying to recapture the joy of the first film, and yet deliver something new that advances the story. The story isn't particularly memorable, and I was surprised that the villain was so bland and uninteresting. The voice work by Steve Carell, Elsie Fisher (Agnes) and Pierre Coffin (Minions) is strong and delightful, but I would have loved for Kristen Wiig to add more nuance to her portrayal of Lucy.
I was with my nephews when I saw this film and they loved it as did all the other kids in the theater. This movie will be a big hit, just because it delivers the humor through the minions. For that reason I give it a B.
Aside from the fact that the first film is a financial success, in the movie business there are two reasons that sequels get made. First, the creators have come up with a new and interesting story to tell. Second, the studio feels the need to capitalize on the success of the first film before the audience loses its appetite for the franchise so it rushes the sequel into production. Monsters University is a great example of the first reason and sadly, Despicable Me 2 is an example of the second. I was really excited to see this movie because I really enjoyed the first one, but I found this movie to be a big disappointment. The Minions were hilarious, but I don’t think I even chuckled at anything else in the film. Aside from the Minions, the only other thing I liked was the scenes between Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his girls. They were tender and sweet and served as the only reminder of why you like Gru at all.
The story and the villain were forgettable to say the least and the romantic subplot between Gru and Lucy (KristinWiig) left a lot to be desired. None of the sight gags or jokes landed unless they involved the Minions, so I think they may have mined as much material out of these characters as they can. I won’t shed a tear if this is the last installment in this franchise. C-