Despicable Me 2 [2013] ★★★

2013-Despicable-2-movie-poster-2-e1371464277848It’s always difficult to cook up a sequel to a successful movie. But the folks at Universal Studios have managed to pull it off. “Despicable Me 2” feels fresh, funny and entertaining even if if the element of surprise is gone. The first movie was a huge hit, as it introduced the unlikeliest of villains/heroes voiced by a magnificent Steve Carell. A big part of its appeal was the comic spin it brought to a father-daughter relationship between Gru and the three orphans he adopts. Part 2 opens with Gru being kidnapped by Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), an agent for the Anti-Villain League: a secret global organization that specializes in stopping master criminals. Their plan? Hire Gru to track down the villain who is responsible for stealing a dangerous mutating compounds. That’s it for plot. But directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud make funny, touching, sublime entertainment out of it as they introduce all sorts of colorful characters. Even better, Minions get more screen time this time around and they steal every scene they appear in. Kids stuff you might think? Maybe. But “Despicable Me 2”  works enough miracles of 3-D animation to charm your socks off and put a smile on your face that will last all the way home. I say bring on “Part 3”.

Rating: 3/4

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