Action-Packed Animated Sequel Finds Reformed Gru Joining Forces with Anti-Villain League
When we last saw Gru (Steve Carell), the diabolical bad guy had abandoned his plan to steal the moon and turned over a new leaf, settling in suburbia to raise the three adorable orphans he had decided to adopt. At this action-packed adventure’s point of departure, we find the new family man content to dote on his demanding daughters, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Kate Fisher) with the help of his loyal army of minions.
But while in the midst of throwing toddler Agnes a medieval-themed birthday party, he is asked to come out of retirement by Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) of the Anti-Villain League (AVL). It seems that a research lab has totally vanished where scientists had been developing a top secret transmutation potion.
Lucy further explains that the substance, PX-41, could be the most devastating weapon on Earth, should it fall into the wrong hands. And since it takes a villain to catch a villain, it is her hope that Gru will spearhead AVL’s effort to track down the serum-snatching scoundrel.
First, he must weigh his fatherly duties against the urgent call to apprehend a ne’er-do-well bent on world domination. Another consideration is the fact that he’s quickly developing a crush on the cute spy seeking his assistance.
So, it’s not long before the two are on the trail of El Macho (Benjamin Bratt), a Mexican madman intent on morphing Gru’s own minions into man-eating monsters. Complications ensue when the mendacious outlaw’s handsome son, Antonio (Moises Arias), starts seducing Margo after meeting her in the mall.
Therefore, Gru’s challenging mission involves not only retrieving the vials of PX-41 but protecting his teenager’s virtue and wooing the love of his life to boot.
Again directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, Despicable Me 2 is as inspired a sequel as one might have hoped for. Far from a mere rehash of the winning elements which made the animated original such a hit, this episode features enough fresh ideas and funny moments to stand on its own and warrant a further extension of the franchise.
Sure, the pat Hollywood ending is a foregone conclusion, but nobody’s complaining when the roller coaster ride is so thoroughly enjoyable!
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG for crude humor and mild action
Running time: 98 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures