Despicable Me 2

minions, Steve Carell, animated
Despicable Me is one of my favorite childrens' movies - I love the minions, and when I reviewed it in June 2010, I gave it a very high "Yes." I was hoping that the sequel, then, would be just as hilarious, and although it was funny and still worth seeing, the original is much better, unfortunately.

Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and the girls are back in the sequel, and Gru has stopped his evil ways - in the first Despicable Me, he stole the moon (but later returned it) and is now concentrating on both being a good father and also operating his jams and jellies business, with which the minions and also Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) are helping. One day, though, a woman named Lucy (Kristen Wiig) kidnaps him - she works for the AVL, Anti-Villain League, and they need Gru's help in nabbing a bad guy. They set Gru up with a cupcake shop at the mall, so that he can scope out the suspects there, and Gru finally feels back in "his element" again; however, he's totally unprepared for the series of events that happen next, including falling for his business partner Lucy, trying to keep his oldest from falling in love with a restaurant owner's son, and having to rescue the minions when they fall into someone's evil clutches.

Most of this movie was still really funny. It seemed to move at a slow pace, even though it had some CIA/FBI elements like the first movie had, and there were some parts where I was a little bored. The minions are still as cute as ever, although a bit scary when (semi-spoiler) some of them change into evil incarnations of themselves. I also really liked the 3D in the movie; when Despicable Me came out in 2010, the 3D was flawless, and animated movies had just started using 3D in the mainstream, so I would expect nothing less from the 3D in the sequel.

Yes, see this film, but it has my lowest Yes recommendation (3 out of 5 stars). I enjoyed Monsters University more than this one, but fans of the first film will most likely like this one; I liked it, but thought it could have been better. There's a lot of kid-friendly jokes in this one, too (more than in the first), involving fart guns and some other novelties, but at the same time there's a lot here for the adults as well, which is great - in one scene, Gru's youngest daughter, near the end, means to say "I want to make a toast," but instead says "I want to make toast," which was cute. Despicable Me 2 is a decent enough follow-up to the first film, and a good "fluff" movie for summer, but at the same time, I wanted it to be a great film, following in the footsteps of the first movie, and unfortunately that didn't happen.

Despicable Me 2 is in theaters today, July 3rd, and is rated PG with a runtime of 98 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

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