July 02--After witnessing Gru transform from a super-villain to a super-dad with a Play-Doh heart at the end of 2010's "Despicable Me," there was just no way there wouldn't be a sequel.
And "Despicable Me 2," which opens in theaters Wednesday, is better than the original -- but not for its storytelling. The 98-minute movie replaces things like plot details with what the audience is clearly more interested in seeing: minions, adorable daddy-daughter moments (Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, dressing up as a "Gruzinklebell" princess for Agnes' birthday) -- and of course, for Gru to find the girls a mommy.
And more minions.
Did I mention the minions rock? Those yellow, pill-shaped goofballs took lessons from the Three Stooges to orchestrate their myriad comedic vignettes, which, if strung together, could be a feature film of their own.
They also become the object of the new villain's desire.
And while seeing Gru's don't-mess-with-my-family kind of vindication play out in 3-D made beautiful graphics nearly tangible, it's a negligible feature that couldn't not stick Gru's Pinocchio nose straight into your popcorn --over and over again.
Other unnecessary details include a blind date in which the woman Gru is set up with is tranquilized by a jealous Agent Wilde (Kristen Wiig), dragged unconscious through the streets and tied like a Christmas tree to the top of Gru's car.
That cringe-worthy scene made you wish the eldest daughter, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), isn't ready to start liking boys -- especially the one lusty preteen in skinny jeans who grinds his hips almost as much as Gru grinds his teeth as a hotheaded, overprotective father.
As for leading lady Wiig, who provided the voice of Miss Hattie in the first "Despicable" movie, she plays her now-familiar persona to a T in the sequel. Agent Wilde's likable quirks echo Wiig's role in "Bridesmaids" and make you glad directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud invited Pharrell Williams back to compose songs in the film's soundtrack.
It's that kind of consistency that makes you "Happy" that the end credits foreshadow a minion movie to be released in 2014.
Despicable Me 2???
Voices by: Steve Carell, Benjamin Bratt, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Moises Arias
Behind the scenes: Produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy. Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin.
Rated: PG; rude humor
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Movie times and details
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