‘Despicable Me 2′ just as delightfully loopy as the first

There's plenty more adorable Minion action in "Despicable Me 2." Credit: Universal Pictures
There’s plenty more adorable Minion action in “Despicable Me 2.”
Credit: Universal Pictures

‘Despicable Me 2′
Directors: Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin
Voices: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig
Rating: PG
3 (out of 5) Globes

It’s tough to settle down in the suburbs after you’ve tried to steal the moon. But reformed supervillain Gru (voiced again by Steve Carrel, with a Bela Lugosi accent) is making a go of it as a single dad to three cute-as-a-button girls, even converting his massive weapons laboratory into a startup business manufacturing jellies and jams. Alas, such a fiendishly gifted mind cannot stay idle for long, especially when the laws of Hollywood economics demand sequels to surprise blockbusters.

The dizzy, delightful “Despicable Me 2” finds Gru recruited by the top secret Anti-Villain League, with eager agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) and her dour commanding officer (Steve Coogan) enlisting our hero’s expertise in tracking down a stolen experimental serum that turns test subjects into fuzzy purple monsters. At first reluctant to be of service, Gru doesn’t really have much choice, given Agent Wilde’s annoying habit of tasering him to get his attention.

Going undercover at the local mall by setting up a dummy cupcake shop, the two target a swarthy Mexican restaurant owner (Benjamin Bratt) who looks suspiciously like El Macho, one of Gru’s former comrades, who was presumed dead after riding a dynamite-covered shark into a volcano on a rocket. Such zany overkill is characteristic of the screenplay by Cinco Paul and Ken Duario, who won’t settle for just one gag when a moment can easily contain three or four more.

So much contemporary computer animation strives for a dull facsimile of photo-realism, but here returning directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin shoot for the classic cartoon hand-drawn anarchy of “Looney Tunes,” never moreso than with the Minions. Gru’s diminutive henchmen look like yellow Tic-Tacs wearing denim overalls and steampunk goggles, speak in high-pitched nonsense-talk and keep stumbling into elaborately orchestrated, dialogue-free slapstick sequences.

The storyline grows a bit cluttered with the introduction of a possibly sinister wigmaker (Ken Jeong). But for Gru, what’s scarier than any impending plot for world domination is the terrifying development that his teenage daughter has started dating.

Spirited vocal performances from the cast add to the antic atmosphere. The energy level never flags, even though you might wish everybody would stop to breathe once in awhile. Overstuffed with daffy non-sequiturs and not one, but two exuberant Minion musical numbers, “Despicable Me 2” is almost too much of a good thing.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.