Despicable Me Despicable Me 2
dir Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
scr Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul
prd Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri
voices Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, Dana Gaier, Ken Jeong, Moises Arias, Nasim Pedrad, April Winchell
release UK 28.Jun.13, US 3.Jul.13
13/US Universal 1h38
Despicable Me 2
Daddy's girls: Gru with Margo, Agnes and Edith

carell wiig brand
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Despicable Me 2 Gru and his minions are back for another mindlessly silly adventure that keeps both kids and grown-ups giggling helplessly all the way through. Once again, there's nothing here that's particularly original or memorable, but the characters are endearing and the manic animation is relentlessly hilarious.

Now a family man with precocious daughters Margo, Agnes and Edith (Cosgrove, Fisher and Gaier), ex-villain Gru (Carrell) is trying to launch a respectable business with Dr Nefario (Brand) and their mob of minions. Then he's sidetracked by undercover spy Lucy (Wiig) and her boss Silas (Coogan), who need his help to find the villain who has stolen a top-secret government chemical. His suspicion falls on Eduardo (Bratt), who looks suspiciously like former bad-guy colleague El Macho. And Gru is horrified when Margo falls for Eduardo's bad-boy teen son (Arias).

Once again, the film takes the style of a Looney Tunes classic in which everyone is continually bashed, flattened, burned and blown to smithereens, yet they all emerge unscathed for the next bit of slapstick wackiness. This violence sometimes begins to feel rather intense, especially when it's echoed by dialog about blowing heads off and slitting throats. But it's all so wildly ridiculous that we never have time to ponder the utterly mindless approach to murderous nastiness.

As before, the giggling yellow pill-shaped minions steal the show, with their gibberish dialog and relentlessly fun-loving behaviour, including a couple of fantastic musical numbers. Meanwhile, the talented voice cast refreshingly suppress their own personalities to create likeable characters, all of whom are animated with an attention to detail that constantly acknowledges that this is a cartoon.

Along the way, the film is packed with hilarious references to classic films, all of which zoom right over the heads of younger viewers who will be dazzled by the fast-paced story, chaotic action scenes and a particularly witty use of 3D. There aren't any set-pieces as riotous as the first film's rollercoaster, for example, but there's also never a dull moment. And while the plot is nothing special, hinging on a corny romance, the film keeps us laughing with snappy dialog, high-energy performances and the expected non-stop stream of poo and fart gags.

cert u themes, violence 16.Jun.13

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