Gru (Steve Carrell), now settled into his role as father to Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), has retired from his days as a supervillain. He is a “legitimate businessman” now.
The Anti-Villain League, anxious to figure out who has stolen a secret laboratory containing the mutating agent PX-41 – capable of turning living creatures into aggressive, indestructible fighting machines – sends agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) to recruit Gru, as he knows how villains think, to help with their efforts. (A modern-day, animated Silence of the Lambs.) After learning his assistant, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), tired of not being evil, is leaving to find a more evil organization to work for, Gru reluctantly agrees to help the AVL.
After the case is thought to be closed, Lucy is reassigned. Gru stumbles upon proof that the man arrested in the case is not the mutant creating villain. They should be looking for someone known as El Macho (Benjamin Bratt). As Gru’s minions are being stolen and turned into invincible mutants, Gru must find a way to save his family, his minions, and Lucy from El Macho.
The minions are back, and are as funny and cute as ever. After all, that’s what the people wanted in this sequel. Their unintelligible speech and hijinks take the forefront. Surprisingly, it wasn’t overdone, as could be easily done. Instead, the play the stars as experts. Giving the laughs you want and not going overboard.
I don’t mean to discount the humans in the film. Steve Carrell and Russell Brand are back, and fall into their roles just as you remember them. Kristen Wiig is the lovable Lucy without slipping into her almost overly familiar role she has played so many times. Overall, the ensemble gives the right mix of humor and heart that the film needs.
It would have been easy enough to slip into typical cartoon sequel style, and make the movie all about the minions, at the sake of the rest of the story. Instead, they keep it balanced. Showing Gru is not really a bad guy at heart, even more so than in the original. Not only is he capable of being a father to 3 young girls, he even has the ability to love. No, this is one of the rare sequel that is as good as, if not even better, than the original.
The kids will love seeing more of their favorite yellow characters, with enough grown up jokes thrown in to keep us adults entertained.