Despicable Me 2

Year: 2016
Studio: Universal
Director: Pierre Coffin/Chris Renaud
Writer: Cinco Paul/Ken Daurio
Cast: Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong, Steve Coogan, Kristen Schaal, Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

Ordinarily I wouldn't have been the least bit interested in seeing this movie, sure that I'd come across it somewhere now I have a little kid in the family and not particularly looking forward to another entry into what's my least favourite genre.

But there was one single reason I wanted to see it, and that's because I found the relationship Gru (Steve Carell) developed with the three little girls he adopted quietly and surprisingly touching in the first movie – I wanted to see more of that.

Everything else is there like the family-friendly gags, the visuals of the CGI animation and everything else these sorts of films offer. Gru's retired from being a master criminal now he's a family man, but a spy agency ask him to come back in and help solve a threat to the world (one I can barely even remember featuring another generic villain with another plan for world domination).

They assign him a bumbling but earnest partner, Lucy (Kristen Wiig), set them up with a fake candy store in a mall where one of the shopkeepers is the suspect, and the expected hilarious hijinks ensue along with a structure of emotional ups and downs and action-to-exposition ratio that's very set in stone for this sort of thing by now.

The cute and sweet dramedy about fatherhood I was hoping for did indeed form the backdrop, it was just a matter of waiting all the rest of the stuff out to get there – all of which sounds way harsher than I intend. Such as it is in the narrow constraints for CGI animated family comedy adventure, everything is in the right place and does the job as good as you can expect.

In fact it was so successful at the time it came out I knew many of the elements from it (the minions at the end singing their version of 'YMCA', one of them smirking 'bottom') because of how talked about they were in pop culture in the wake of the film's release.

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