In "Despicable Me 2," Steve Carell's Gru is a changed man. No longer a super-villain who needs to be the baddest of the bad guys, he's now domesticated, with his three adorable adopted daughters, his hilarious gibberish talking, Tic-Tac-looking minions, a freaky dog and an evil scientist assistant (Russell Brand) whose focus is now making jams and jellies.
It is, however, Gru's evil genius past that makes him the perfect candidate to help the Anti-Villain League. A new threat is emerging and Gru is, apparently, the only person who can help. An AVL agent named Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) is deployed to kidnap Gru and bring him back to headquarters, where he'll be forcibly recruited to help the cause.
AVL believes the mastermind behind this emerging threat works in a mall. Yes, a mall. And that's where Gru and Lucy will do their not-so-undercover work and, perhaps, fall in love, because that wouldn't be predictable at all.
As he's fighting villains, he's also Gru, the responsible dad who will do anything for his daughters, including dress up like a fairy princess for his youngest, Agnes. On the flip side, he's having trouble coping with eldest daughter Margo's budding interest in boys.
And then there are the minions. If you're a fan of the first movie, then you're a fan of the minions, and they do not disappoint here. Oh, of course, your kids will be delighted with the return of the fart gun because, well, who under the age of 10 doesn't love a fart gun?
While there's really no redeeming educational value here, there's no question that "Despicable Me 2? is one of your more likable family movies, with no shortage of laughs and heart.
Four out of five stars.