A giant, hovering, horseshoe magnet appears above a research facility in the Arctic circle. First, a few coins are sucked into this device. A man holding a metal rod soon follows. Then all hell breaks loose and, within a few moments, the entire facility is stolen. The remaining 95 minutes of Despicable Me 2 are no less eccentric.
It turns out that the researchers in the Arctic circle facility developed a serum that could, for example, transform cute rabbits into vicious, invincible monsters. To recover the mutagen and prevent it from being misused, the anti-villain league (AVL) enlists the help of former super-villain Gru.
Gru, working with AVL agent Lucy, traces the chemical scent of the serum to The Paradise City Mall, and begins the search. Meanwhile, he struggles to 1. avoid dates that his neighbor sets up for him, 2. prevent his eldest adopted daughter from getting involved in relationships, and 3. discover his love for Lucy.
A plot summary does not do justice to the movie. Despicable Me 2 shines because of its eccentric ideas and sense of humor, the way Gru’s character and emotions are developed, and, perhaps most importantly, Gru’s minions.
Gru’s minions are small, yellow, shaped like eggs and look like exercise balls, as depicted in the picture above. They play a prominent role in just about every trailer or advertisement for the movie. Rightly so, for they provide most of our laughs, and are unbelievably cute in the way they look, speak, and interact with one another. I could spend hours talking about the minions, and still would not be able to express how well they have been envisioned. Instead I shall direct the reader to the official trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlbnGSMJQbQ.
Some movies, like Seven Samurai, are great because they force us to think. Some, like Life is Beautiful , are great because we get so emotionally involved in them, that even the most affectless of us rejoice at the characters’ successes, and despair when they fail. Many others like the Lord of the Rings excel because we are transported into another reality, forgetting our presence in the movie theatre.
Despicable Me 2 is not a great movie. With no themes that encourage reflection, a dearth of characters that we actually care about, and a mediocre plot, it could not, and does not aim, to be one. It is not a perfect comedy, for that matter, either, and sometimes reduces to slapstick humor that is embarrassing rather than amusing. But I enjoyed the movie.