Everyone's favorite super-villan turned super-dad is back! Gru returns with his three adopted daughters and (most importantly) thousands of minions. It was going to be hard to top the genius of the first installment in this series, and it didn't in many ways. However, this was still a good continuation of this fun, heart-warming story.
Despicable Me 2 starts off where the last one left off. Gru (still voiced brilliantly by Steve Carell) has left his life of world domination for a life as a father to Margo, Edith, and Agnes. He is also trying to establish an honest business venture to earn some honest money. Of course, as it was with his evil plots, Gru cannot do anything without his swarms of minions that act as babysitters, maids, and overall mischief-makers. While establishing his normal lifestyle, he is kidnapped by the Anti-Villain League so he can help them catch the latest super-villain trying to take over the world. Since Gru is a former super-villain, they figured he can better get into the mind of a super-villain (Hannibal Lecter style) and discover who their mystery nemesis is. Gru and his AVL-appointed partner (voiced by Kristen Wiig) go undercover to find their guy and in the process, yes, Gru starts to fall in love.
This movie takes awhile getting going. The start has some good moments and jokes in it and is quite entertaining, but once the premise is set it hits a lull in the middle that really takes until the dramatic ending for it to break out of. The beginning is strong, and the ending is strong. The middle is interesting, but it just doesn't live up to the quality of the rest of this film and the first film.
Everything that made the first film great is there in this sequel as well. Gru is brash but has the heart of gold, the girls are cute and adorable, and of course there are the minions. You could say the minions were the breakout stars of 2010 as they stole every scene they were in. The filmmakers knew this, and gave the minions a more extensive part of the storyline this time around. They still steal the show, but (I hate to say it) it is almost too much of a good thing. By the end of the film, the charm was slightly starting to wear off. I still love them and their craziness, but they were much better used in the first one.
Overall, this film is just fun. It doesn't live up to the first one, but like I said, it had some pretty big shoes to fill. It also doesn't disappoint. If you liked the first one, you will like the sequel. It is a fun franchise that through two films has been able to stay somewhat fresh and not tired. However, one of the first things I thought when the movie ended was, "I hope they don't make another one because the material could get tired really quickly." I knew they would, and sure enough they are. Not only are they making a third one, but they are continuing a trend that could be dangerous. It appears there is a movie planned for Christmas 2014 simply entitled Minions. I have to say, this scares me. Focusing a story on a supporting character, or characters, isn't always a good idea. It would be like giving Urkel or Screech his own show or movie. They are great as the comic relief in the background, but can they really carry their own plot? I guess we are going to find out with our little yellow friends. Until then, enjoy this second adventure.