Despicable Me 2 (PG)

Animation 98 min. July 3, 2013
By Stephanie Zacharek
There are so many ways Despicable Me 2 could have gone wrong, and so many things it does right. Despicable Me, released by Universal, was close to perfect, so unrepentant in its lack of moral virtue, and so much fun that making a sequel sounded like a terrible idea: Now that the pot-bellied super villain Gru is a dad, does he have to be a nice guy? Where's the fun in that? But Despicable Me 2 remains resolutely unshrunk. It's breezy and affable without ever going completely soft. That becomes clear early on when Gru, after staging a backyard birthday party for the youngest of his three little "gorltz," blasts an annoying neighbor with a garden hose. In his unidentifiable accent-- half borscht, half Borscht Belt-- he offers the ultimate unapologetic apology: "I'm so sorry, I did not see you there." The opening, in which an Arctic Circle research facility is whisked off into the sky, is extravagant in a James Bond way. And the finale is suitably action-packed, though nervous parents can rest assured that the weapons used here squirt nothing but jelly. In between, directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud keep everything blessedly low-key, proving that you don't need an antic plot when your characters are well drawn to begin with. Lucy, the love interest, is the best kind of animated screwball heroine: With her rubbery limbs, she has an ostrich ballerina's grace. And Gru, wearing his usual uniform of black drainpipe trousers, Beatle boots, and Euro-groovy zip-up jacket-- he's shaped like a hipster Monsieur Hulot-- reaches new heights of grousing and English-mangling, some of them marvelously lowbrow.
Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Moises Arias Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy Universal Pictures

Showtimes

  • Wed. 8
  • Thu. 9

Watch the Trailer