Review: Despicable Me 2 / Cert: PG / Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud / Screenplay: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio / Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Elsie Fisher, Moisés Arias, Nasim Pedrad, Jermaine Clement / Release Date: June 28th
Firstly, if you haven’t yet seen Despicable Me, shame on despicable you. Secondly, you don’t really need to have seen it in order to enjoy this equally bonkers and refreshing follow-up to the 2010 animated hit.
Retired supervillain turned relative good guy Gru (Steve Carell) is living a ‘normal’ life, happily looking after his three adopted daughters (Cosgrove, Gaier, Fisher) and starting a jelly business with his hapless yet loveable minions. His reformed life is rudely interrupted by the Anti-Villain League, an MI6 style agency headed by Silas Ramsbottom (Coogan). The AVL believe a new villain is secretly operating from a local mall and want Gru to use his past experience to root them out. He is paired up with annoying agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig returning in a different role) and reluctantly has to become the hero whilst running a cupcake shop.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, his imposing neighbour (Pedrad) keeps trying to set him up on dates, his gadget man Dr Nefario (Brand) has accepted a better, ‘more evil’ job offer, and his eldest daughter Margo (Cosgrove) has fallen in love with an arrogant boy called Antonio (Arios).
Despicable Me 2 is an incredibly ambitious film that delivers some stunning animation, possibly the best yet in the genre, throwing down the gauntlet to DreamWorks and Pixar. The film is PG and there is some black comedy and crude humour that more sensitive parents might find distasteful, but the film is very funny and there are lots of moments that will be appreciated by little kids and big ones alike.
The highlight of the film is a new rendition of a well-known pop song, and the main laughs come from the numerous minions, voiced mostly by directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud but also by Flight of the Conchords’ Jermaine Clement. Minions fans will be pleased to know that they’re getting their own film next year. Among the new characters are wig-store owner Floyd Eagle-san (Jeong) and Mexican restaurant owner Eduardo (Bratt), arguably the best character in the film.
Despicable Me 2 is bizarre, hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable; definitely worth going to if you don’t fancy Superman or zombies.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10