Bigger, Badder and Better! Not Quite, but Pretty Close.

The 2010 success of Despicable Me was somewhat of a surprise to many. It has most of the hallmarks a family film needs to find box office longevity. It has just enough goofiness to satisfy the little ones, enough higher level humor to keep the tweens and teens interested, and enough sentiment to capture the hearts of adults. And, yes, of course, the animation is fantastic and the cast of voices, even better.

What’s even more impressive is that virtually every key player is back. From directing duo, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud to the writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. And, the main characters are voiced by the same actors. Steve Carell once again takes the lead role with Gru and Russell Brand sounds off as Dr. Nefario. Kristin Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove also return. While Cosgrove once again voices Margo, Wiig takes on the new character, Lucy.

One of the original’s highlights were the minions! Gru’s mysterious little guys who aid him and work to complete his every command. They maintain the comic backbone to the movie, constantly reminding us how much fun we should be having.

Super Spy Lucy Wilde (Wiig) recruits Gru into the Anti-Villain League to stop an evil new villain with a magnetic ship, a devious plan and, of course, a path toward destruction.

Despicable Me 2 is fun and funny and keeps viewer interest the entire time. At it’s heart, this is a children’s movie. The script isn’t quite as strong as the original and it lacks much of the sentimentality that drew adults to the first, but it is always entertaining and amazingly animated.  Will DM2 draw in new adult viewers who don’t have kids under 12 years old? Probably not. But it will be likely to bring back just about anyone who enjoyed the first one three years ago.

Grade:  B

 A Quick Revisit with Despicable Me!

Remember the original? Super villain Gru wants to commit the most heinous and original crime he conjure — he’s going to shrink the moon! Why? Because he can! And, it’s villainous and evil and Gru is an evil mastermind! However, Vector (Jason Segel) has other plans, he wants to counter Gru at every turn and pursue his own evil scheme!

While concocting his evil scheme, Gru adopts three orphan girls to help front his plans. However, his bond with the trio of girls quickly grows into a father-daughter(s) love and Gru decides to turn his evil nature into good-guy heroics!

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Despicable Me was nothing short of an unexpected joy. It was funny, filled with incredible animation, fairly original and just as entertaining for adults as it was for kids. I have watched it a few times since first seeing it in the theater (with my daughter) and still enjoy it now, just as much as I did the first time around.

Grade: B+

Review by Gordon Shelly, special to Influx Magazine