DESPICABLE ME 2 REVIEW (GRADE: B)
You know when someone tells a joke that everyone thinks is hilarious, so they keep telling it and it gets less and less funny each successive time? I hate to say it, but that's how I'm starting to feel about the minions, those little yellow hench-people known for their adorability, gibberish language, and propensity for slapstick violence. They're still funny, but are so heavily relied on to carry the show in this sequel that their repetitive style is beginning to wear out. Then again, I may be in the minority; my kids can't stop acting like them. I just feel that, like Captain Jack Sparrow, the minions function best when they're stealing scenes, not when they're driving the plot. Don't get me wrong, there are multiple scenes of genuine minion-hilarity here, but I fear that the upcoming Minion Movie is going to be overkill.
Otherwise, this second installment, while neither as fresh nor as funny as the original, still has plenty of heart, laughs, and creativity. Reformed super-villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to stop a new menace (voiced by Benjamin Bratt). Along the way he has to deal with his oldest adopted daughter falling in love for the first time, as well as his own insecurities in romance as he begins to fall for a secret agent (voice of Kristen Wiig, initially trying too hard but eventually growing on you). It's all silly fun with a message that emphasizes marriage and family, which is no surprise considering the screenwriters are Latter-day Saints. Fans of the first film will not be disappointed.
CONTENT OVERVIEW: Despicable Me 2 is rated PG. Like the first film, there is an abundance of slapstick violence and occasional potty humor. An animated woman shows some cleavage in an evening gown.
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: Marriage is ordained of God; parents have a duty to love their children, leading by example in teaching them true principles (The Family- A Proclamation to the World).