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Film review: “Despicable Me 2”

Photo: Universal Pictures

DESPICABLE ME 2

PIERRE COFFIN + CHRIS RENAUD

STARRING: STEVE CARELL, KRISTEN WIIG, RUSSELL BRAND, MIRANDA COSGROVE

Despicable Me 2 is an animated comedy of surprises – the infectious, stitch-at-your-side kind. As a popcorn-toting consumer who prefers watching humans to cartoons, I entered the family friendly cinema with minimal expectations and an absence of anticipation. However, even the film’s inception made it impossible not to be delighted and amused by the lovable super-villain-turned-super dad Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), whose irritable yet amorous persona reminds us of, well, ourselves.

In the second instalment of the Despicable Me franchise, Gru and his daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) are cast into a entirely new adventure after Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) kidnaps Gru in her car-turned-submarine, preparing him for a mission. The film incorporates two cavity-worthy love stories, one centered on Gru himself and the other featuring eldest daughter Margo and a suave, sweet-talking Antonio (Moisés Arias). It’s an endless stream of laughs as Gru develops an instinctual detestation for her new boyfriend, demonstrating just how much he has transformed into a doting father. At the same time, he is tackling his own budding romance and focusing on cracking down the villain (as is central to every animated picture).

Despicable Me 2’s highlight, however, came in the form of Gru’s adorable yellow minions. The miniature henchmen returned for more belly laughs, enchanting children and adults alike with their indecipherable language and witty mannerisms. Whilst pondering the inundation of minion toy sales on eBay, I also marvelled at the brilliance of the edible chip hat, which must be invented if it hasn’t been already been. The Cinco de Mayo party favour allows the wearer to tear off pieces of their hats and dip it into the guacamole pool contained inside, sparking a food frenzy through the screen.

The film’s ending, which involves countless adorable minions singing and dancing to “YMCA”, has the audience in stitches until long after the credits roll. The movie proves to be enjoyable for all ages – and I truly mean all ages. It is a flick all parents will beg their kids to let them tag along to – far from being a Teletubbies marathon, Despicable Me 2 provides a certain depth and humour that is unseen of in non-animated films. Tears may or may not have been shed in the closing minutes.

Following the screening, I asked a mother what she thought of the film. She said that she absolutely loved it, and that the minions made the movie. YouTube the critters’ partiality to bananas and potatoes and you’ll soon understand why, or better yet, book a ticket to the movie for yourself – oh, and pack some Doritos (dip mandatory!) to ward off the chip hat jealously you’ll indisputably encounter.

In cinemas now.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (four chip hats)

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