Despicable Me 2 box
Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray
Sequels to popular animated films rarely work. Oftentimes, this is because the sequel has trouble coming up with a plot that is as compelling, fun and shrewd as the original film. Luckily for Despicable Me 2, our hero, Gru (Steve Carell), changed from a bad guy to a good one between films, allowing the writers to tell a story from a whole new perspective.

A lot of the film’s marketing has hinged on the popularity of the famed minions, and they get a lot of screen time in Despicable Me 2. The plot revolves around the Anti-Villain League, an institution that hires Gru to track down the villain who stole an incredibly potent monster-creating potion. Gru teams up with an awesome spy and potential love interest named Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to determine the identity and whereabouts of the new villain. The plot is solid, offering plenty of hijinks, chase scenes, and red herrings. It will keep your kids entertained, but it’s not as fresh as the first film in the franchise.

Most of this is due to the fact that Gru is now a good man and a good father. Audiences should be super happy that Gru has turned a new leaf and committed to Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), but this also means he’s fallen into a more predictable pattern of behavior. Watching a protagonist steal the moon as a villain is a heck of a lot cooler than watching him get kidnapped and thrown into the back of a submarine car. Additionally, this time around, the three super cute little girls are mostly relegated to a subplot rather than taking front and center with Gru. It’s great that things are peachy keen for the adopted girls, but it means we have to spend more time focusing on G-rated romance and the minions.

I’m assuming the minions’ extended role in the new movie has helped to set the studio up for the next theatrical release from the franchise, which is set to star the gaggle of goggle-wearing guys. Honestly, if you are a fan of the slapstick comedy the minions offer, you’ll probably find that Despicable Me 2 has a few more full-belly laughs than the first film. But it also has less heart, and that might make a difference for the adults that are watching with the kids.

You can order Despicable Me 2 over at Amazon. A 3D version is also available.

Best Special Feature: Despicable Me 2’s menu is a little strange-looking. The minions get up to some hijinks on the screen, but the play function, the mini-movies, the extras and more are all located on the top the screen, rather than the side or the bottom. Once you figure out how to navigate, the extras are pretty swell. The recent Smurfs 2 set came with an added movie, but the mini-movies on this disc follow the minions on several adventures and helps to explain how Universal Studios plans on carrying a movie around the yellow creatures.

Other Special Features:
Deleted Scene- "Gruties"
"The Minions"
"Evil Minions"
"A Gru-Some Transformation"
"El Hombre Malo: The Villainy of El Macho"
"Gru’s Girls"
"Gadgets Galore"

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