Featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Benjamin Bratt. Rated G.
Where were the Minions when we needed them in The Hangover Part III? Clearly, somebody should deploy the goggle-eyed yellow flunkies of Despicable Me—and now, Despicable Me 2—to make all otherwise pretty terrible movies not terrible, not to mention insanely cute. Also, the Minions don’t speak any recognizable language of Planet Earth, which would definitely qualify them for many Hollywood movies.
Discerning child filmgoers and developmentally compromised adult persons will recall that in the first movie, moon-hijacking villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell)—who comes across a bit like Dracula by way of the Kremlin—adopted adorable orphans Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Agnes (Elsie Fisher), and Edith (Dana Gaier). In this sequel, Gru is attempting normal family life (with a Minion-operated basement jam factory) when the Anti-Villain League requests his help in tracking a mystery supervillain. The supervillain has stolen a dangerous serum that is not Botox.
Codirectors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud (who also voice the Minions, which must certainly be noggin-damaging) basically let things devolve, or evolve, into irresistible, kooky chaos. Well, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), a daffy agent with 007-ish gadgets—submarine car, lipstick Taser!—teams with Gru to provide a nerd-romance subplot that should be useful way into Despicable Me 27. And there’s a mall restaurateur (Benjamin Bratt) who looks suspiciously like purportedly deceased supervillain El Macho.
But otherwise, the eye-punchingly colourful, Looney Tunes-y movie spaces out on story for Minion madness. Oh, yeah: the serum can also turn Minions into wacko purple monsters and your child will want one. Ka-ching!
“I miss being evil,” says Gru’s scientist assistant, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand). “Sinister plots, large-scale crimes is what I live for.” Agreed—which is why Despicable Me 2’s weird, sinister, criminal chicken rules the despicable roost, as weird, sinister, criminal chickens will do.