I never wanted to watch Despicable Me. The idea of centering a movie, even one for all-ages, around a villain seemed all wrong. But then I caught the movie on cable and fell in love with Gru, the three girls who melted his heart, the minions, Dr. Nefario, and the incredibly clever world where they all live.
Despicable Me 2 is not only as good as the original, but previewing it last Saturday with my youngest daughter was the most enjoyable movie experience I’ve had so far this summer. And, yes, that includes family trips to see Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.
Gru (Steve Carell), with his scarf, turtleneck and scowl, cheerfully attempts to turn himself into a jelly manufacturer after a life of super-villainy. It’s as fun as watching Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark, but a little more cuddly, of course. After all, this movie is meant for all-ages. But I wish that Man of Steel, at least, had attempted to be more all-ages and less angsty like Despicable Me 2.
The sequel begins as the original Despicable Me did, with an over-the-top caper by an unknown super-villain. Then we catch-up with Gru who’s holding a birthday party for his daughter, Agnes, as only a former super-villain scientist genius can. Gru is happy, his three new daughters are happy, but some things are off, especially Gru’s attempt to become a legitimate businessman. Plus, he’s dodging attempts to fix him up on dates, as the idea terrifies him.
The movie really picks up with the introduction of Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and her lipstick taser, as can be seen in the trailer, who has a startling new opportunity for Gru to be a hero.
Without giving too much away, I can safely say there are a lot of minions being ridiculous, a mystery to solve, a dash of romance, a fight with a persistent chicken, excellent action sequences, and an ending that nearly had myself and my daughter dancing out of the theater. The crowd was cheering as the credits rolled.
So far, it’s my feel-good movie of the summer.
The movie will be available in theaters nationwide in the U.S. starting on July 3.