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article imageReview: ‘Despicable Me 2’ harnesses minion power to overcome sequel spell Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jul 3, 2013 in Entertainment
In ‘Despicable Me 2,’ Gru is recruited by a special agency that catches super villains to stop a new criminal seeking world domination.
Minions. Before 2010, the word called forth the image of poor slaves compelled to do the bidding of their leader. Renfield was Dracula's minion, eating insects locked away in an asylum. Then audiences were introduced to Gru and his minions: adorable little yellow men who make cute noises in the place of words. The connotation of the word was forever changed in that moment. Now they've returned to the screen in Despicable Me 2.
Gru (Steve Carell) is now a full-time dad who lives to make his three little girls – Agnes, Edith and Margo – happy. No longer in the business of evil and world domination, he's turned his genius to preserves. But when someone steals a secret laboratory from the middle of nowhere, the Anti-Villain League (AVL) must ask for his help to capture the culprit. In the meantime, he also struggles with every father’s nightmare: the first boyfriend.
While there is no “It’s so fluffy!” moment, it’s still very enjoyable. Agnes remains precious and her innocence is delightful. Each time she takes to the screen all eyes are on her and she doesn’t disappoint, imparting sweet advice or only-a-child-can-experience-this level of excitement. Gru is wonderful in every capacity. He is a doting and protective father, and a good boss to his minions with clever comebacks and unwavering determination. His battle with a guard chicken is comical, as is his attempts to keep Margo away from her new crush.
Gru’s female partner for his assignment, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), is not as charming as she is clumsy. Introducing herself by tossing Gru into the trunk of her car does not get them off on the right foot and it takes a long time for them to build the trust required for their mission. Meanwhile, Russell Brand reprises his role as Dr. Nefario, who tires of being good, and Benjamin Bratt arrives on screen as Eduardo, the shady Mexican restaurant owner.
Kevin, Bob, Stuart and their minion colleagues receive a lot screen time, which will please most fans of the first film. From an I Love Lucy parody to a music video for All 4 One’s 1994 hit single “I Swear,” they entertain audiences without fail. They also receive a little makeover thanks to the dastardly super villain.
Taking its lead from the first film, the credit sequence is worth the price of 3D admission. And even though it’s not on par with the original, this is a quality sequel that hits all the marks.
Directors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
Starring: (voices of) Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt
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