Despicable Me 2 - 7 stars out of 10
You knew that it would be tough to make a sequel to “Despicable Me.” I respect the writers for concluding the first film the right way instead of creating loose ends to set up a sequel, and they did the best that they could to create a fresh follow-up. The thing that I love about these films are the visual gags and slapstick humor that are so reminiscent of Looney Tunes. I adore the sophistication of Pixar animated films but this series is great if you want to laugh as a family. I think that the largest failure of this movie is the shifting of focus from the girls to the minions. I think the minions are really funny but too much of them turns into cheap humor. The relationship between Gru and the girls gives the first film that emotional edge that brings tears to your eyes, but that facet of the film was lost with an excessive amount of minions and the new focus on Gru’s dating life. Still, the essence of the film’s comedy is captured with the image of a man in a wrestling mask with TNT strapped to him while skysurfing a shark into an active volcano. The voice acting (and accent) of Steve Carell continues to be excellent while the addition of Lucy (and the type-casting of Kristen Wiig as her voice) adds a new layer of laughs. I also love Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, who may be my favorite character of the entire series. “Despicable Me 2” loses some of the sentimentality of its predecessor but still makes for a laugh-out-loud experience with great sight gags and one-liners.