"Despicable Me 2" is the highly anticipated sequel to the lovable "Despicable Me". It was fairly unique as instead of the typical good guy as the main character, they put up a villain as the protagonist (although he ended up good) which made it more refreshing and more fun to watch. Aside from his pointy nose and hilarious accent, we were also invited to spend some time with the extremely adorable and mischievous yellow Minions, who speak almost entirely incomprehensibly in their own unique language. There were also the three little girls that have the movie heart (Margo, Edith, and Agnes).
This time around, Gru's no longer a villain. He's devoting his life to being a father and raising his three adorable little kids. (He dressed up as a fairy for Agnes's 6th birthday.) He's also managing his business of manufacturing jellies. But when there's a villain who just stole a secret formula (named PX-41) that could threaten the entire civilization, Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League, headed by Silas Ramsbottom ("bottom" read in a Minion's voice), to stop this new villain. His partner is an orange-haired funny woman named Lucy Wilde.
Gru is facing with different kinds of experiences now. He's raising his three girls and has become a father. He's managing his jelly business. But he's also for the first time in love, which is haunting him due to a past experience back in his days at school. Love is a central theme to the story this time around. Gru is in love and a fun love storyline comes in full effect. Not only is Gru in love, but Gru's oldest daughter Margo also experiences the rush of falling in love. Even Dave, one of Gru's many Minions, falls in love. This love theme is what sets this sequel apart from the original.
We have an array of new characters now. The first one is Lucy Wilde, the orange-haired woman who works for the AVL and eventually becomes Gru's love interest. Her funny actions and hyperactive behavior makes her a fantastic addition to the wide range of vibrant characters here. There's also Silas Ramsbottom (emphasis on "bottom"), the leader of the AVL. His elegant personality and unique appearance makes him a lovable addition to the diverse cast. The final main addition to the character list is Eduardo Perez, the owner of a Mexican restaurant whose real identity provokes the saying: "there's more than meets the eye".
While these new colorful characters add a delight to the screen, none of them compare to the lovable army of yellow Minions. Hands down, they stole the whole film. They have fantastic chemistry with just about anybody and they're funny as hell. Every sound that comes out of their is just damn hilarious. I have no doubt that children will enjoy the Minions' mischiefs. This time, the Minions have more scenes dedicated to them too, compared to their appearance in the first film. Oh, and don't forget Dr. Nefario too, who sadly has his appearance minimized. But every time he appears on screen, he's a delight.
The comedy here works too. The jokes are humorous and most of them work for all ages. Some of them may not be original or repetitive, but they're still able to give you a laugh. And it doesn't hurt that an incredible cast was behind the delivery of the jokes here. Steve Carell was charming as usual and he never fails to impress with his excellent voice portrayal of Gru. Kristen Wiig was energetic as the energizing Lucy Wilde. Benjamin Bratt also gave a satisfying performance as Eduardo Perez. The rest of the cast was superb too.
The visual effects were incredible. The sets were also very vibrant and colorful. They're so wonderful that they make the film come to life. Everything is splendid about the setting. They're also very detailed and it's just a treat for the eyes. The animation too is just eye- popping. All the characters' movements are extremely detailed and very smooth. The 3D is more of an optional choice though, but some scenes are especially tailored for 3D as they literally pop out of the screen, especially the end credits. Don't miss that one.
Despite the beautiful visuals, the film only explores several locations which is kind of upsetting. A big chunk of the film is set in Paradise Mall, a colorful mall. Some scenes take us to other places but I feel that it's kind of limited. I feel that it's kind of a missed opportunity because the animation here is just irresistible and they could've given us more sets to feast our eyes on.
But despite some setbacks, "Despicable Me 2" is a satisfying sequel to the excellent original. I won't say that it's better than the original because it lacks the freshness the first film possessed. But this sequel comes really close and this should be an entertaining 98- minute adventure.
Final Verdict: It's not as fresh as the original but "Despicable Me 2" nearly matches the first one and is highly entertaining for all audiences, with plenty of laughs and a superb cast.