Voices of:     Steve Carell     Kristen Wiig     Russell Brand      Benjamin Bratt


DESPICABLE ME 2

 This is a delightful fancy that entrances kids and makes them giggle.  In this update, Gru has become a loving father who dotes on his girls and relies on his minions.  He is content to have a family and produce jellies…until he is recruited by a secret organization to bring in a bad guy and save the world.  The intrigue and adventure is still in his blood, and he sets off with a new partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig)—who has many James Bond-like tools that will come in handy—to snare the evil threat.  The chief suspect is Floyd Eagle-san (Ken Jeong), head of a hair-replacement club, but Gru has someone else in mind.

 The character of Lucy is an interesting one, in that she is depicted as a little loony (she is hell on wheels in her car/boat) and slapstick, but shrewd and determined as well.  She is the one who brings Gru to Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), of the Anti-Villain League and Lucy’s boss, who will assign the case to him.  Lucy does it by literally hog-tying him and stuffing him into the trunk of her car and racing to the bottom of the sea where the League headquarters are located.

 In addition to this storyline, there are endearing scenes with Gru’s three girls and romantic pairings for which Gru is ill prepared, neither one of his own nor one of his girls’, so he gets pulled kicking and screaming into that world.  Another subplot involves Dr. Nefario, Gru’s long-time employee who retires out of boredom in making jellies, but will reappear later on.

 Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment has made Despicable Me 2 into a colorful, entertaining experience, with really fine visual and sound effects.  The minions are adorable, and their language is especially appealing and funny.  The music, a mixture of popular songs and original music (Pharrell Williams and Heitor Pereira), is tuneful and pairs well with the story.  This is clearly a success for co-directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.

 Although it is not a message film, it is happy and entertaining with a good dose of intrigue.  

Grade:  A-

By Donna R. Copeland