Despicable Me 2
The onslaught of animated films continues with this sequel.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I wasn't the biggest fan of the first Despicable Me. I found the first film cute enough, but the film was never as evil as the main character was supposed to be nor cute enough that the film moved me in any way. The film was better than a lot of low-rent cartoons that have graced the screen but didn't hold a candle to most Pixar films that found a really good balance of heart and humor.
Evil villain Gru (Steve Carrell) has given up his evil ways and has now resorted to making various jams and jellies with his ever-frustrated gadget man Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand). Gru has become well-adjusted as a former villain with his three girls; Margo, Agnes and Edith (Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher and Dana Gaier). When Agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) with the Anti-Villain League is ordered by her boss, Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) to bring Gru in to work undercover, Gru struggles with his current life and that of returning to his past.
Once recruited, Gru and Lucy work undercover inside a mall as bakers while looking out for a supposed super-villain who is hiding within the mall. Gru immediately notices Eduardo Perez (Benjamin Bratt) whom he believes was once El Macho, the most macho of all villains. As El Macho apparently perished in the most mach death ever, eyes turn to other patrons in the mall. As Gru is away, Margo begins to notice boys; Eduardo's son, Antonio (Moises Arias) in particular while Gru's array of Minions begin disappearing.
If you liked the first one, this one feels like a solid continuation. The humor and heart feel the same, though I did enjoy Benjamin Bratt in full-on and somewhat-Al Pacino-like (funny considering that Al Pacino was initially cast and provided the original voice of Eduardo). The Minions still annoy me for the most part and the new voice additions of Steve Coogan and Kristen Wiig really don't provide much to the film. Wiig's role is to be the romantic interest while Steve Coogan is pretty much wasted in a small role.
Even though the feeling is that this is on par with the first film, I think Despicable Me 2 slightly improves over its predecessor. Some of the jokes were funny and Benjamin Bratt did infuse the film with some funny, if stereotypical, Mexican humor. This is a mixed bag of a film, but as a children's film, this does the trick and most adults would find this enjoyable enough.
The bottom line I guess, is that Despicable Me 2 is enjoyable enough.