I was able to catch an advance screening of Despicable Me 2, but didn’t get around to reviewing it. And I hadn’t even seen the first Despicable Me until the day before the screening. In many ways, the first Despicable Me sort of surprised me; a frenetic story with darkness at the fringes (I mean, a box replaced for a dunce cap?). The sequel? Not so much. But that’s not such a bad thing.
Once again, we’re given a simple storyline. But still frenetic, sometimes to a fault where Kristen Wiig’s Lucy is concerned. Where in the first film, Gru wanted to steal the moon, now he’s erring on the side of heroism. Gru must find who among a mall of entrepreneurs is a villain Lucy is setting out to look for. Instead, he ends up fixated with a man who may be El Macho … and, well, shenanigans ensue, as they do.
Perhaps the best and most ironic part of Despicable Me 2 is that Gru is just no longer despicable. The people behind the scenes were gracious enough to not let this be a relapse episode; in fact, Gru is allowing his heart to grow even fonder of love, with Lucy in tow. It’s a clever play at expounding on his insecurities. And, for the most part, it plays out well. We also get the required quota of Gru cozying up and parenting his adopted daughters, which is equal parts sweet and hilarious now that Margo is dating.
But forget that, what you’re looking for is obvious: the minions. Everyone goes for the minions. And you know what, they deliver yet again with the same Sour Patch Kids personality. I haven’t stopped quoting one of their garbled messages (“bee-doh!”) since I left the screening.
If you loved Despicable Me, you’re going to love Despicable Me 2. It’s that simple. It perhaps won’t shock as much as the first film, but it will certainly entertain you with the same amount of warmth and hilarity. And minions, of course.