Despicable Me 2 directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul pick up where they left off in the first film. All that's different is that they obviously had more fun doing this one than the original.
They continue the story of Gru and his three now-adopted daughters where we left them in Despicable Me. Gru -- who tried to steal the Moon in the first movie -- has retired as a villain and gone straight. He and the minions now make jam for a living.
Gru is recruited by an underground sleuthing organization, the Anti-Villain League and asked to help them find a bad guy who has invented a substance that will turn docile creatures into violent maniacs. They are afraid he'll use it to take over the world.
His contact is Lucy, who is just a little looney. They're sent underground to a candy shop in a mall where the substance was last spotted.
Hands down, Despicable Me 2 is the year's funniest movie. You will laugh from the opening sequences to the funny minion outtakes at the end. I caught it almost a week ago, and I'm still laughing. Every time I think I'm finally done, another scene or skit pops into mind and the laughing starts all over again.
Coffin, Renaud and crew pack their linear story with nice side trips and skits that pump up the fun. Steve Carell voices Gru, and Kristin Wiig does Lucy. Carell's Gru is the film's focal point, and the plot and humor are balanced on his story. Sharing the vocal chores are Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong and Steve Coogan.
Stealing the movie is the minions. The eraserlike one- and two-eyed characters shine in short bits. This one has something for everyone -- adults and kids. The screenplay is packed with G-rated adult humor and loads of slapstick for adults and kids.
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Stars: Steve Carrell, Kristin Wiig, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated PG for some mature themes. It is playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.