In Despicable Me 2, Steve Carell’s Gru is a changed man. No longer a dastardly villain, he’s now domesticated. Unfortunately, Gru has also domesticated his comedy edge. Shooting for the moon isn’t near as funny as stealing it.
Enter a complex plot to get him back in the action, and another complex family subplot that aims to recreate the charm of the first film. None of Gru’s stories come together. The original Despicable Me (2010) managed to juggle the belly laughs with action and a charming family story — this does not.
Enter the Minions, the silly yellow workers who had a sub role in the first film and prime roles in 3 mini DVD movies (2010). All of their zaniness works so well that Gru’s unfocused stories don’t even matter. They alone make this a winning film.
If you have small kids, time your bathroom breaks around the meandering Gru stories, not the Minion comedy breaks.
Simply put: Gru and the girls (who I loved the first time around) are now despicably boring, but this is really a Minion spin off. And the Minions deliver a zany good time.
Award potential: Best Animated Film and (maybe) Best Original Song nominations. It won’t win either of them.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks. For adults and kids.