‘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

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…