In 2010, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment brought us the critically-acclaimed animated comedy, Despicable Me. I originally was not a fan of it, but in anticipation of number two, I went ahead and saw it on DVD. While far from my favorite animated movie of all-time (I think you already know which two are my favorites), I really enjoyed it and there were some parts in the movie where I actually chuckled and laughed. As they say in the trailer for this long-awaited sequel, "Guess who's back?" Despicable Me 2 re-introduces us to Gru (again played by Steve Carell) as he takes care of his three kids - Edith, Margo, and Agnes. One day, Gru is recruited by secret agent Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig, who also lent her voice to the original movie) - and yes, even "lipstick-tased" - to join the Anti-Villain League as a new villain resurfaces. Eduardo, the owner of a Mexican restaurant (voiced by Benjamin Bratt from "Law & Order"), has developed a serum that turns the minions into purple "basically-anything" eaters. Before Gru is "kidnapped" by the A.V.L., he finds out Agnes desperately wants a real mother along with Gru as dad. And also, Dr. Nefario (Gru's right-hand scientist, played by Russell Brand) is "retiring" in order to find a more suitable job for himself, where he can "do evil again", only to come out of retirement and help Gru defeat evil in a surprising, yet also entertaining, fashion.
Gru notices Eduardo is actually a famed masked thief named El Macho, who, 20 years earlier, faked his own death by doing a "Dr. Strangelove" kind of stunt - riding a shark into a live volcano with dynamite strapped to himself. Gru's grudge against Eduardo grows even bigger when Margo - one of Gru's three kids - falls head-over-heels with a young boy named Antonio (voiced by Moises Arias), who just happens to be Eduardo's son. This subplot actually adds to the hilarity of the whole movie, in my opinion. And at the same time that happens, Gru himself falls for Lucy! (Who would've thought?) Can Gru and Lucy work together to stop El Macho from taking over the world with his evil minions - who are actually Gru's minions after the dose of the serum - and save the day? After the 2010 original, I had pretty high expectations for number two, and the guys at Universal nailed the comedy aspect of the movie - IN SPADES! Like the original, it takes a while, but as the movie progressed, the jokes got funnier and funnier, and I laughed harder and harder. I was just basically laughing out loud at the very end! Gru is NOT the only big star of this hilarious sequel. We get more screen time for all the supporting characters, and of course, we can't forget about the minions! Those little guys "bring it" with the comedy, and they're slightly funnier than in the original! While still far from an animated classic, Despicable Me is getting more and more popular, and the minions themselves have all become iconic characters - so much so, that we got a Minions spin off this past summer! Look out for a long - yet also hilarious - 3D gag during the end credits that sets up that said spin off.
Again, not nearly my favorite animated movie of all-time, but the comedy is off-the-charts in this long-anticipated sequel. Go ahead and see this over-the-top and entertaining animated adventure with your family!