Former super-villain Gru (Carell) and his three cute adopted daughters are back, along with Gru’s army of adorable yellow minions in Despicable Me 2, a sequel to 2010’s animated comedy Despicable Me.
Having abandoned all his plans to take over the world in favour of looking after his three girls (while running a jam-making business on the side), Gru is the perfect recruit for the anti-villain league, a secret government organisation trying to figure out which bad guy may have stolen an entire laboratory and the serum being developed inside. Teamed with agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig), Gru has to go undercover at the local mall where one of the shop owners could be the evil genius they are looking for.
There are a few subplots – a possible romance between Gru and Lucy, oldest girl Margo’s infatuation with a local boy (Gru’s other girls – centre stage in the first movie – don’t get much of a look in here)– but the main reason kids (and adults) will want to see this movie is for the minions, and they’re an utter hoot. Given more screen time than in the first movie, the chuckling dudes provide many of the best laughs including a musical finale that will bring tears of laughter to your eyes.
While the plot itself isn’t a classic, all the many humorous moments more than make up for any shortcomings, and with Carell, Wiig & co’s spot-on vocal performances, this adds up to a lighter, brighter, snappier and funnier movie than the original (which for parents of very young kids was a little too dark in places). Hilarious stuff – and the funniest kids’ movie of 2013.
Is Despicable Me 2 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
PLOT SPOILER Very young viewers (age five and under) may find the purple creatures the minions change into quite scary for a minute or two.
One of the characters turns into a big, growling monster near the end which may also frighten very young children.