“Despicable Me,” released in 2010, was a charming, smart, funny, heartwarming animated feature. “Despicable Me 2” is, well, despicable.
OK, it’s not really despicable. But it’s not half as charming, smart, funny or heartwarming as the original. Small children will probably love it but their parents will probably find it lacking.
No longer a super-villain, Gru (Steve Carell) has settled into domestic bliss with his three adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Elsie Fisher). But when a mystery villain steals a secret formula from a government lab (along with the lab), the Anti-Villain League asks Gru to help them locate the thief. Which he does.
I’ve seen commercials with more plot and substance. The original was dense with story and gags, this one goes from point A to B with little inspiration. There are a few new characters — a love interest for Gru and a new bad guy — but everyone’s just going through the motions. There’s no suspense or character development.
The animation is still sharp and the voice talent is fine but it seems directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud have decided the tiny, goofy minions are the real stars of the show when they’re better suited as supporting comedy relief.