It's rare to see a sequel that surpasses the original film, but that's precisely what you get with Despicable Me 2.
Gru (Carell) is happily settling in to the role of fatherhood to the three young girls he's adopted. He's given up the life of evil and is instead focusing his talents on creating a delicious range of home-made jellies and jams. His sidekick Dr Nefario (Brand) is none too please with this new arrangement – he misses the evildoing – and so he departs Gru's employ.
Being a reformed super-villain, Gru is recruited to help out the Anti-Villain League when a new, unknown super-villain develops a serum that turns people (and minions) into mindless purple monsters. He's teamed up with agent Lucy Wilde (Wiig) to go undercover at the local shopping mall, where the AVL believes the nasty new evildoer is based.
The plot is slight, but that doesn't matter at all. Despicable Me 2 takes everything that was established so well in the first film and builds on it. The cuteness of Gru's adopted daughters is taken up a notch – especially the youngest, Agnes, who is absolutely adorable. Gru is a little more relaxed and easy-going this time round, but there is a hilarious scene where he goes on a date (in his quest to find a monther for the girls). Wiig's agent Wilde is a terrific, smart addition – the perfect foil for Gru's bumbling. The film's greatest strength, though, is the minions. These background characters get a lot more screen time, so we get more gags, more silliness and more slapstick. Bring on the Minions movie.
It's got a sharp, witty screenplay, with plenty to enjoy for adults and kids alike. The animation is gorgeous, the vice cast spot-on and even the 3D is used to great effect (expecially in a very funny mid-credit sequence). The only slight fault is with the film's title. Gru is now a nice guy, so maybe it should have been called Not So Despicable Me?