Despicable Me 2
2.5 Waffles!

I never thought it would come to this, but they are pulling out all of the stops to get you to buy a ticket to Despicable Me 2. Yes, we are exposed to even more minion booty!

Steve Carell is back as Gru – the former nefarious villain who tried to steal the moon, but turned into a softy, loving Dad after adopting the three girls. Now, Gru finds himself on the side of the good guys when an unknown bad guy steals a top secret formula that turns cuddly, sweet animals into monsters! Gru has been recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help find this evil mastermind and stop his dastardly plan before it is too late.

Can Gru find the villain?

Make no mistake about it. Despicable Me 2 is all about the minions!

While the plot is driven by that search for the bad guy, the movie is driven by all of the side characters and adventures they have, which are so much more funny, even though Al Pacino jumped ship and had to be replaced by … Benjamin Bratt (I like Benjamin, and he was very cool when I interviewed him a few years ago, but he’s no Al Pacino. Even he would have to admit that).

First, little Agnes is back, and, as voiced by Elsie Fisher, proves to be the cutest little girl in movies. While she doesn’t have that one signature moment in this film like, “It’s so fluffy,” she makes the most out of every moment as the little girl who loves her new Daddy, roots for him to find someone to love, and experiences undeniable anticipation when she thinks a new Mommy might be in the future.

Second, and most of all, Despicable Me 2 is all about the minions! I am willing to say that a third time. Despicable Me 2 is ALL ABOUT THE MINIONS!

They have such infectious joy and, like you and me, laugh at the most juvenile humor like naughty school children in on the joke. You can’t help but laugh at their crazy behavior whether it is the misadventures in making jam to the chase scene of the summer movie season.

I just wish writers Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul didn’t feel the need to go for the obvious and the disgusting. Do we really need fart guns? I know little kids will giggle at that, but it goes to show how no one involved in this movie is all that committed to doing something amazing. Sure, we get some funny movie homages throughout, but Despicable Me 2 falls into familiar territory a bit too often with Gru struggling to deal with Margo’s (Mirando Cosgrove) crush on the boy next door, the obvious love story between Gru and Lucy (Kristin Wiig) and the pursuit of the secret villain (who isn’t really all that secret).

Despicable Me 2 is a movie playing it safe, giving you and the kids what you all want, so it will clean up this Independence Day weekend.

Despicable Me 2 is rated PG for rude humor and mild action.